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Reader's Digest Posts Q1 Loss

Reader's Digest posted a net loss of $5.2 million for the fiscal first quarter ended last month compared with a net loss of $1.1 million in the prior year, the company said Friday.

Revenue in the quarter rose 4 percent to $517.1 million from $497.5 million. The gain was driven largely by the May acquisition of Reiman Publications, which contributed $68 million in the first quarter. Excluding Reiman, first-quarter revenue declined 10 percent.

First-quarter results did not include $25 million in revenue and $16 million in operating profit from certain book-marketing programs at Reiman Publications that Reader's Digest decided to recognize in the second quarter instead of the first.

The North America Books and Home entertainment division had revenue of $115 million and operating profit of $3 million compared with a loss of $11 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2002.

The International business had revenue of $228 million and an operating loss of $2 million. The division had an operating profit of $13 million last year. Results were affected by mailing interruptions resulting from flooding in Europe, Reader's Digest said.

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