Simon & Schuster released its second quarter financial report today, and the news was both bad and good.
The publisher reported its fourth straight quarterly decline in revenues even as their profits grew. Sales were down $12 million, to $199 million, while profits were up $3 million, to $27 million, last quarter. Revenues for the first half of 2015 declined 5.6%, to $344 million.
eBooks made up 20.1% of sales in the quarter, versus 22.3% in the same quarter of 2014. That is a decline both in share and in volume (about $7.5 million), but I am sure that has nothing to do with Simon & Schuster’s contract with Amazon. Publishers Lunch quotes S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy as denying the connection, “What we do know is it hasn’t. We’ve done a lot of studies of this and our unit sales are absolutely holding. So we’re very pleased with the new arrangement, and the results of it. There can be effects from pricing changes, but now the pricing changes we’re doing ourselves.”
Reidy also said that S&S regarded itself as flat, not down, compared to last year. Overall comparisons with the second quarter of 2014 were negatively impacted by the release of Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices and other big print sellers, Reidy noted.
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