First-Quarter Revenues, Net Income Up at Harte-Hanks

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Direct marketing services firm Harte-Hanks, San Antonio, said last week that it had first-quarter operating revenue of $232.1 million, up 2.7 percent from $226.1 million in first quarter 2000.


In addition, its net income rose 3.4 percent to $18.4 million, from $17.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The first quarter ended March 31.


The company's direct marketing segment, however, saw revenue growth of only 1 percent. Chairman/CEO Larry Franklin said the percentage compared favorably with an 11 percent decline in the retail sector, "our largest vertical market, which continues the weakness experienced since the third quarter of 2000."


Franklin said the direct marketing segment's hi-tech/telecom and financial vertical markets also experienced slowdowns.


"The financial sector was flat, with good performance in nonbank finance offset by declines in banking and mutual funds," Franklin said.


The pharmaceutical, healthcare and automotive sectors all performed strongly for this market, Franklin said.


Harte-Hanks Shoppers, the company's direct mail flier program, "had another terrific quarter, although we are beginning to see signs of a slowdown in this business as well and there are difficult comparisons for the remainder of the year," Franklin said. For the quarter, operating income rose 15.3 percent on revenue growth of 6.4 percent.


"We expect the economic uncertainty to continue through the remainder of 2001," Franklin said. "Most of our vertical markets continue to experience slowdowns, which will impact our business."


As a result, Harte-Hanks has taken steps to control costs, including staff reductions and controls on capital and discretionary spending.


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