Textbook and education publisher John Wiley & Sons (JW.A) kept up its good run of earnings for the bulk of 2009, closing out its fiscal year with additional healthy earnings and putting the company in a good position for the remainder of 2010.
Wiley reported fourth-quarter sales of $436 million, an 8% gain from 12 months earlier, and full-year sales of $1.699 billion, a 5% increase from last year. Fourth-quarter sales for the professional/trade division jumped 18% to $115 million, boosting full-year sales 7% to $430 million.
As for e-books, they made up less than 2% of overall sales, at $7 million, but now that Wiley has closed a deal with Apple (AAPL) to make its titles available for the iPad, that number should only go up in the new fiscal year.
Higher Education Performance Soars
Higher education also grew significantly in the fourth quarter, soaring 27% to $45 million, while the scientific, technical, medical and scholarly, or SMTS, segment rose 2% to $278 million, the gain entirely attributed to foreign-exchange fluctuations.
Operating income of $43.4 million rose 7% for the quarter, and climbed 11% for the year to $242.6 million. Net income for the quarter jumped 14% to $28 million, and for the whole year it increased 12% to $143.5 million.
In the accompanying statement, CEO William Pesce said: "Wiley's performance in fiscal year 2010 is a compelling story about the quality of our content and its value to our customers; effective execution of Wiley's digital strategy and business models; and the strength of our company's culture. In a challenging environment, we gained market share, increased earnings, generated strong free cash flow and reduced net debt by $224 million."
Positive Outlook for Fiscal 2011
Wiley also reported that its net debt was at $495 million, declining from $720 million a year earlier, and that the company took an $800,000 restructuring charge in the fourth quarter "related to off-shoring and outsourcing certain marketing and content management activities to Singapore."
Looking ahead to fiscal 2011, Pesce expects "mid-single-digit revenue growth, excluding the effect of foreign exchange."
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