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Scholastic revenue drops 10%

Scholastic has reported a 10% drop in revenue for the fiscal year to May 2020, after sales plunged in the fourth quarter due to Covid-19, reports the Bookseller.

Revenue fell 40% year on year in the fourth quarter to US$284 million (A$400.5m), as schools were closed and book clubs and fairs cancelled as a result of the virus. The publisher made an operating loss of US$46.2 million (A$65.2m) in the fourth quarter.

For the full year, Scholastic recorded an US$88.5 million (A$124.8m) loss after operating income fell US$113.5 million, including a US$40 million (A$56.4m) inventory write down in the third quarter, and one-time severance charges of US$13.1 million (A$18.5m).

The publisher said a 45% increase in trade sales, led by a frontlist that included Suzanne Collins’ The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, had helped to offset the drop in schools’ revenue in the US and internationally, which was down 11% for the year and 39% for the fourth quarter.

The company has now begun implementing a cost-savings program, intended to cut £100 million (A$180m) of expenses in the 2021 fiscal year, with a plan that ‘focuses mainly on labour-related costs, as well as process improvements’, according to Scholastic.

‘Scholastic has faced many challenges in its 100-year history and we have always emerged better and stronger,’ said chairman, president and CEO Richard Robinson. ‘More than 90% of US schools use Scholastic’s products, and at this time of concern on school openings, we are acquiring information from school districts about starting dates, and whether classes will be in-person, remote, or hybrid. In short, we are flexibly modifying our familiar services to meet the needs for books and digital learning, whether in physical or virtual classrooms this fall.’


Category: International news