Scholastic reported results for its fiscal 2019 first quarter ending August 31, 2018 — their lightest quarter since school is not in session — showing gains in both book publishing and distribution and education.
Revenues totaled $218.4 million, up 15 percent compared to $189.2 million in the first quarter of 2018. The net loss improved slightly—$61.3 million, compared to $63.7 million in the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA for the first fiscal quarter of 2019 was a loss of $64.5 million, compared to a loss of $78.1 million in the first quarter of 2018. Scholastic’s shares, up 6.9% so far for the year, had gained 9% two hours into the day’s trading.
Trade revenues for the first quarter 2019 were $59 million, compared to $46.7 in the first quarter 2018, an increase of 26 percent, driven by a 3-million-copy first printing for Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas. The larger children’s book publishing and distribution division also gained $12 million in reported revenues due to the new ASC 606 accounting rules.
Scholastic Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Robinson said in the release: “Our first quarter results, although a small revenue quarter, put us firmly on track to achieving our operating goals for the fiscal year. Despite a relatively flat market for children’s books in general, we saw strength in our global trade publishing across frontlist, series, and licensed titles.” He added, “We are beginning to see improved sales productivity in book fairs and education through the implementation of our new CRM platform.”