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Rough quarter for HarperCollins

HarperCollins is recording a huge drop in revenue for the three months ending Dec. 31, and the company’s finances look to be shaping up for a dismal fiscal year.

From Publishers Weekly:

Revenue at HarperCollins dropped 25% in the key quarter ended December 31, falling to $305 million from $406 million in the comparable quarter in 2007. Operating income plunged 66%, falling to $23 million from $67 million. This is HC’s second consecutive weak quarter and at the midpoint of its fiscal year earnings are down 75%, to $26 million, with revenue off 16%, to $620 million. In a release, parent company News Corp. attributed the poor performance to a weak retail environment and difficult comparisons to a strong showing in the fourth quarter of 2007. The bankruptcy by the U.K. distributor EUK also contributed to the earnings decline.

There’s no word on what ramifications the drop will have at HarperCollins, which announced a wage freeze for all employees in December. The company also recently offered buy-outs to U.S. employees over the age of 55, but according to the PW story no one at the company is saying how many people have accepted the deal.