Ebooks and Divergent Drive Revenue and Profit Increase at HarperCollins in the Second Quarter

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Both revenue and profit are up for book publisher HarperCollins in its second quarter, according to parent company News Corp’s latest earnings report.

In the second quarter of 2013, ending December 31, 2013, HarperCollins had $391 million in revenue, up 4% from $377 million during the same period a year ago, and $68 million in profit, up 33% from $51 million.

Strong performance in the quarter was driven by Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, which has been a consistent performer on the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller list. Ebook revenues overall were up 39% at the company versus the same period last year and represented 17% of overall revenues in the quarter.

According to the earnings statement, higher profits were in part due to ebooks making up a larger mix of overall revenues: “Segment EBITDA increased $17 million, or 33%, from the prior year benefiting from the higher contribution to profits from e-books and ongoing operational efficiencies coupled with higher revenues.”

While overall revenues decreased for the company through its first six months (to $719 million from $729 million, a 1% change), profits were up 22% to $111 million.

Behind news and information services (Dow Jones, which owns and operates the Wall Street Journal, and other periodical publications), book publishing made up the largest segment of News Corp’s overall business. For the first half of the year, News Corp revenues were $4.3 billion (16.7% of which is book publishing) and profits were $468 million (23.7% of which is book publishing).

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