For the quarter, total revenue increased 7.2% to $1.3 billion; Retail store revenue increased 13.9% to $810.6 million; Direct revenue decreased 5.4% to $349.9 million; and Financial Services revenue increased 9.9% to $113.3 million. During the period, comparable store sales decreased 5.5%. For fiscal 2014, net income was $207.1 million compared to $238.3 million last year, and earnings per diluted share were $2.88 compared to $3.32 a year ago, each adjusted for certain items. The Company reported GAAP net income of $201.7 million and earnings per diluted share of $2.81 as compared to GAAP net income of $224.4 million and earnings per diluted share of $3.13 a year ago.
McGraw Hill Financial, Inc. (NYSE: MHFI) today reported fourth quarter and full-year 2014 results. The Company reported fourth quarter 2014 revenue of $1.29 billion, an increase of 7% compared to the same period last year. Largely reflecting the impact of recent legal settlements, fourth quarter net income and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were losses of $(1,009) million and $(3.71), respectively. For the full year, revenue increased 7% to $5.05 billion and net income and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $(293) million and $(1.08), respectively. Every business delivered increased revenue in 2014. Excluding the impact of charges related to legal and regulatory settlements and restructuring, adjusted net income from continuing operations for the quarter increased 22% to $264 million, and adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations increased 23% to $0.95. For the full year, adjusted net income from continuing operations increased 19% to $1,073 million and adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations increased 20% to $3.88.
Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of a diversified range of paper and packaging products, today expanded its leadership offerings in the packaging market with the launch of LusterCote™, a superior C1S paper for labels and other related end use applications. Sappi is introducing the product to respond to a global customer need in consumer packaged goods, setting the stage for the future with packaging as one of its core business segments. Sappi's 60 years of experience in the packaging industry began with selling paper to multi-wall bag manufacturers in the 1950s. In 1993, it introduced LusterPrint®, a grease-resistant paper used primarily in pet food packaging. LusterPrint is compliant with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for paper and paperboard packaging in contact with dry, aqueous and fatty foods. It also can be used in the production of popcorn bags and a variety of other flexible packaging applications.
The Port Townsend Paper Corp. is changing ownership this week, with a newly formed holding company purchasing the mill and its assets, it was announced on Tuesday. Crown Paper Group Inc. of Atlanta will close on the sale later this week as it purchases the Port Townsend Holdings Company Inc., which includes Port Townsend Paper Corp. along with Crown Corrugated Co. in British Columbia, which does business as Crown Packaging and Boxmaster.
Shipping operations will be suspended at U.S. West Coast ports over the coming long weekend, the Pacific Maritime Association announced Wednesday. The planned shut down comes amid stalled labor talks between the companies and the union representing 20,000 dockworkers. "Last week, PMA made a comprehensive contract offer designed to bring these talks to conclusion," said PMA spokesman Wade Gates. "The ILWU responded with demands they knew we could not meet, and continued slowdowns that will soon bring West Coast ports to gridlock. What they're doing amounts to a strike with pay, and we will reduce the extent to which we pay premium rates for such a strike."
In what, on the surface, could forebode an end to the relationship sale, Time Inc. announced today that it's introducing a programmatic platform for buying print ads. Media buyers will now have access to print audience segments as they peruse Time Inc.'s digital programmatic marketplace, Global Exchange, to place their display orders. Data-based media buying has provided a tremendous amount of efficiency for buyers, and has challenged the traditional face-to-face sales meetings, but Time Inc. is counting on that efficiency to boost print sales.
For Huhtamaki, 2014 was a year of change. We sharpened our strategy and focused our business on food packaging, where we already are among the leading companies in the world, and where we want to be successful in years to come. In July, we announced the acquisition of Positive Packaging, a flexible packaging manufacturer having operations in India, the United Arab Emirates and Africa. After closing the acquisition at the end of January, we're now enthusiastic to start integrating the business into our Flexible Packaging segment. Due to our focus on food packaging, we decided in the summer to look for future options for our Films segment and announced the sale of the segment in November. The transaction was closed on the last day of 2014 and therefore the business is now reported as discontinued operations. Related to the sale, we have also booked a gain of approximately EUR 5 million for the fourth quarter. These two sizable transactions, the acquisition of Positive Packaging and the sale of Films, increased significantly our focus on food packaging and also the share of fast-growing emerging markets in our portfolio. Now a majority of our employees and manufacturing plants are at the emerging markets, as well as close to 40% of our net sales.
Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK), a global leader in consumer packaging, today announced that Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission has approved its acquisition of EMPAQUE, a leading Mexican manufacturer of aluminum cans and ends, bottle caps and glass bottles for the beverage industry, from Heineken N.V. The parties expect to close the transaction shortly.
Oil rose for the first time in three days amid speculation that demand is strengthening, curbing a supply surplus. Futures gained as much as 3.5 percent in New York, after falling 7.6 percent over the past two days. Demand is increasing and there are indications that prices are stabilizing, according to Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi. The profitability of producing gasoline in northwest Europe climbed to the highest in more than four months, according to PVM Oil Associates data. U.S. crude stockpiles increased for a fifth week to the highest in more than 30 years, data from the Energy Information Administration show. Rising U.S. supplies contributed to a global surplus that drove futures almost 50 percent lower last year. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, has rebounded 15 percent from its January low as producers idled drilling rigs and cut spending plans. Further price declines are needed for U.S. output growth to slow enough to re-balance global markets, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a Feb. 10 report.
Bertelsmann is driving forward its growth in Brazil, China and India. In addition to expanding its existing activities in the areas of TV production, books, magazines and services, Bertelsmann will step up its investments in the education and digital media sectors in these three countries. To advance the accelerated development of business activities in the three countries, this week around 60 of the company’s executives from Europe, the U.S., China, India and Latin America met in New Delhi, India. Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, says: “Regional expansion is one of our strategic priorities. Brazil, China and India are among the largest economies in the world. In these countries, demographic trends, a growing middle class, and their increasing purchasing power are causing a rapid rise in demand for digital media, services and education. Accordingly, we will massively expand our businesses in all three countries in the years ahead and increase investment here. Our medium-term goal is to generate revenues of around one billion euros in our growth regions.”