With the e-book market showing no signs of returning to robust growth, two of HarperCollins’s main priorities in fiscal 2018 are global expansion and broadening its distribution base in North America, HC’s CEO Brian Murray told PW after the release of the publisher’s financial results for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017. In the just-concluded year, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was $199 million, 7.5% higher than in fiscal 2016, despite a decline of $10 million in sales. Several factors impacted HC’s sales performance: there was one fewer week in the fiscal 2017 than in fiscal 2016, which cost $19 million, and the company suffered from the negative impact of currency fluctuations. Murray said he was “thrilled” with fiscal 2017 from both a publishing and financial standpoint and that the continued decline in e-books isn’t a major concern at the moment. He noted that, in the North American market, gains in print book sales and digital audio made up for the drop in e-book sales and that HC’s print frontlist and backlist sales were almost strong enough to match the revenue generated in fiscal 2016 by Go Set a Watchman. Among the company’s top-selling titles in the year were Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines, and Jesus Calling and Jesus Always by Sarah Young. Click Read More below for more of the story.
Grainger (NYSE: GWW) today reported results for the 2018 second quarter ended June 30, 2018. Sales of $2.9 billion increased 9.4 percent versus $2.6 billion in the second quarter of 2017. Operating earnings for the quarter of $344 million were up 50 percent versus $229 million in the 2017 second quarter. Earnings per share of $4.16 increased 149 percent versus $1.67 in the 2017 second quarter. Adjusted earnings per share of $4.37 increased 59 percent versus $2.74 in the 2017 second quarter. The improvement in earnings was driven mostly by higher sales, operating expense leverage, a lower tax rate and a lower share count.
“The second quarter exceeded our expectations, with strong growth from U.S. large and medium customers, gross profit that was better than anticipated and meaningful operating expense leverage. We continue to gain share across both large and medium customers and acquire medium customers amid a strong economy. In Canada, we are on schedule with the business turnaround. And the single channel and international businesses also improved operating performance,” said DG Macpherson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Based on our performance and momentum, we are raising our sales and earnings per share guidance for the year.”
The company raised its 2018 sales and earnings per share guidance for the year and now expects sales growth of 5.5 to 8.5 percent and earnings per share of $15.05 to $16.05. The company’s previous 2018 guidance, communicated on April 19, 2018, was sales growth of 5 to 8 percent and earnings per share of $14.30 to $15.30.
Sales increased 9.4 percent in the 2018 second quarter versus the 2017 second quarter, driven by a 9 percentage point increase from volume and 1 percentage point from foreign exchange, partially offset by a 1 percentage point decline from the divestiture of a specialty business.
Reported gross profit margin for the quarter was 38.8 percent vs. 39.8 percent in the 2017 second quarter. Adjusted gross profit margin for the quarter was 38.9 percent vs. 39.9 percent in the prior year. The lower gross profit margin includes a 0.5 percentage point decline from implementation of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s new revenue recognition standard that primarily reclassifies certain costs related to KeepStock services from operating expenses to cost of goods sold and a 0.2 percentage point decline from the timing of the company’s annual sales meeting. When normalized for the impact of the revenue recognition standard and the timing of the sales meeting, gross profit margin for the 2018 second quarter was 39.2 percent, a decline of 0.3 percentage points versus the 2017 second quarter.
Company operating earnings of $344 million for the 2018 second quarter increased 50 percent versus $229 million in the 2017 second quarter. Adjusted operating earnings of $359 million increased 23 percent versus $291 million in 2017. The improvement in earnings was driven by higher sales and strong operating expense leverage. Reported operating margin for the quarter was 12.0 percent, an increase of 3.2 percentage points versus the prior year. Adjusted operating margin was 12.6 percent, an increase of 1.5 percentage points versus the prior year.
more detail at: http://pressroom.grainger.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=194987&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2358811