Reader's Digest Association ( RDA said its fourth-quarter profit rose 9%, led by higher profits in its North America and international segment.

The Pleasantville, N.Y.-based company earned a profit of $12.2 million, or 13 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $11.2 million, or 11 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for items, earnings were 24 cents a share in the quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 27 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose marginally to $557.3 million as against analysts' estimate of $563.5 million.

For the fiscal 2007, the company expects to earn 88 cents to 98 cents a share, while analysts' estimate stands at 99 cents a share.

The company also forecasts revenue to grow mid-single digits. Analysts estimate revenue of $2.45 billion.

Revenue from Reader's Digest North America increased 7.5% to $245 million. Sales for Reader's Digest international were $259 million in the quarter compared with $252 million last year, and consumer business services sales fell 25.9% to $60 million.

"As we expected, RD North America and RD International had strong operating profit growth in the fourth quarter, improving by 67 percent and 24 percent respectively," the company said. "But results declined sharply at Consumer Business Services."

The company's shares were trading at $13.54, down 8 cents Wednesday.

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