News Corp. reported earnings for their fiscal first quarter, ending September 30, on Thursday afternoon, with publisher HarperCollins showing growth after five straight quarters of sales declines. Sales of $458 million were up 13 percent versus $405 million a year ago. ($4 million of the gain was due to currency exchange.) EBITDA was back to the level from two years ago, at $71 million, up from $49 million a year ago. News Corp. said the publishers’ “strong results reflected the importance of savvy commissioning, combined with sensible cost control.”
The growth was attributed to new releases from the general books division and higher backlist sales in the children’s division. Digital sales were up 20 percent due to shifts in pandemic buying habits, comprising 23 percent of consumer revenues for the quarter.