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John Wiley & Sons' CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: JW.A

In a separate statement this week we announced that we will explore the sale of a number of consumer print and digital publishing assets in Professional Trade that no longer align with our long-term strategies. The assets offered for sale are in travel, including the well-known Promus brand, culinary, general interest, nautical, pets, crafts, Webster’s New World and CliffsNotes. The planned divestiture follows a strategic review of the company’s business portfolio, which led to a renewed – new focus on opportunities in categories that meet the strong global demand for high-quality information for professionals in life-long learning enabled by new technology.

In Wiley’s fiscal year 2011 the publishing assets offered for sale generated approximately $85 million of revenue and approximately $6 million in profit contribution before related Shared Service expenses.

Third quarter professional trade revenue of $108 million declined 6% or 5% excluding the unfavorable effect of foreign currency. The decline is largely attributable for softness in the business book market and reduced retail shelf space for some prints consumer categories, particularly cooking and travel.

eBook sales doubled again in the quarter to $9 million or $28 million year-to-date. Strong global sales, growth at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple contributed to the increase in eBook sales. Year-to-date gross profit at 62.7% of revenue reflects a 1.1% improvement compared to the same quarter in the prior year due to the EBIT growth partially offset by higher author advanced revisions. Adjusted direct contribution to profit fell 7% to $28 million reflecting top line results partially mitigated by prudent cost control measures.

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