Harte-Hanks' direct marketing revenue down

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Harte-Hanks' fourth-quarter direct marketing revenue decreased by 3.6% to $168 million, the agency said in an earnings statement. Annual direct marketing revenue increased 2.2% to $614.2 million compared with last year. Operating income declined year-over-year 1% to $26.6 million.

“On an adjusted basis this was our highest revenue quarter in three years,” said Larry Franklin, chairman, CEO and president of Harte-Hanks, in an earnings call on Jan. 31.“Our agency business had a really good quarter both top- and bottom-line…Our mail business did very well in the quarter.”

For the fourth quarter, Harte-Hanks' operating revenues decreased 4.8% to $224.6 million and operating income was down 5.1% to $23.8 million when compared to the same period in 2010. For the full year in 2011, the company's revenues decreased 1.1% to $850.8 million when compared with the prior year, and operating income decreased 17.2% to $75.4 million.

Franklin attributed the decrease to investment in contact centers and database businesses. These investments will continue in 2012, he said, as the company works to bring new products and services to the marketplace this year.

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