Reader's Digest Earnings Rise

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Reader's Digest Association Inc. ended its 2004 fiscal fourth quarter and year with increased earnings compared with last year, the Pleasantville, NY, company said yesterday.


The company posted $12 million in net income for the fourth quarter ended June 30 and $67 million in the 2004 fiscal year. In fiscal 2003, the firm had a net loss of $13 million in the fourth quarter and net income of $61 million for the year.


However, revenue was down for the quarter and year. It totaled $536 million and $2.4 billion, respectively, versus $564 million and $2.5 billion in the previous year.


The Reader's Digest North America division generated fourth-quarter revenue of $203 million, down from $209 million in the prior year. Revenue for the fiscal year also dropped, to $835 million versus $854 million last year. But the division had increased operating profit for the quarter and year at $16 million and $71 million, respectively, versus $13 million and $61 million in 2003.


The International Business division produced lower revenue of $239 million for the quarter and $970 million for the year, compared with $252 million and $1 billion in the earlier quarter and year. However, its operating profit was up, reaching $21 million for the quarter and $57 million for the year compared with $15 million and $49 million in 2003.


Consumer Business Services posted a drop in 2004 revenue with $96 million for the quarter and $609 million for the year versus $110 million and $641 million for the prior year. The division posted a loss of $7 million for the fourth quarter compared with a loss of $1 million in the same quarter last year. It produced an operating profit of $64 million for fiscal 2004 compared with $91 million in fiscal 2003.


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