Scholastic Rides Hunger Games to Big Revenue Gains

By guest blogger Mike Bock

Thanks in part to strong sales from The Hunger Games book series, publishing giant Scholastic, Inc. reported significant earnings in the 2012 fiscal year, but the company does not expect to yield as much growth in 2013. In a press release, Scholastic said the fourth fiscal quarter, which ended May 31, yielded the highest results, as revenue rose 24 percent to $678.5 million, from $545.3 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2011 (the tremendously popular Hunger Games film, based on the Scholastic-published book, was released March 23.)

For the entire year, Scholastic made $2.1 billion in revenue, up 14 percent from $1.9 billion a year ago, but how much of this is tied to The Hunger Games book series? Well, 23 million copies of The Hunger Games, 14 million copies of Catching Fire and 13 million copies of Mockingjay (the three books within the trilogy) have now been sold (in print or digital). Richard Robinson, Chairman, president and chief executive officer of Scholastic, said he didn’t expect to see such high numbers in the upcoming year, as the next film in The Hunger Games trilogy won’t be released until November 2013.

“While we will not repeat our record earnings from fiscal 2012, Scholastic’s goal for fiscal 2013 is to sustain last year’s momentum, while continuing to invest in key growth opportunities which will benefit fiscal 2014 and beyond,” said Robinson in the press release.

The company did not give specifics on digital sales, but the report mentioned next year would allocate millions in development and investment to the Storia ebook system, Scholastic’s e-reading app, and Read 180, a digital lesson planner for teachers.

Scholastic’s education technology and classroom publishing segments earned about half the combined revenue of its children’s publishing division in fiscal 2012, though both segments saw gains in revenue and net income over the prior year. Revenue from education technology, bolstered by Read 180, among the most popular literacy software applications in education, increased from $230.8 million to $254.7 million; revenue for classroom materials increased from $197.2 million to $208 million.

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