Reader's Digest Posts 3Q Loss

The Reader's Digest Association Inc., Pleasantville, NY, announced Friday diminished earnings for its fiscal third quarter of 2003 ended March 31 as well as its plan to cut at least $70 million in fixed costs globally in the next two years.

The company said it had an operating loss of $3 million in the quarter, including $16 million in restructuring charges. Revenue rose 4 percent to $563 million from $542 million in the prior-year quarter, mainly because of the additional money coming in from the acquisition of Reiman Publishing.

While profits for the U.S. Magazines segment were flat at $5 million, profits for the North America Books and Home Entertainment segment rose 46 percent to $8 million.

The restructuring of the company's international business will include a 20 percent reduction in overhead in two years as well as job cuts and consolidation.

"We plan to reduce global overheads by at least $70 million and to restore international margins, much as we continue to do at U.S. BHE, which posted a profit after several quarters of re-engineering," Thomas O. Ryder, chairman/CEO, said in a statement.

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