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Harlequin rakes in cash for ailing Torstar

Harlequin parent company Torstar has just released its fourth-quarter results for 2008, and things look pretty bad: the company lost $211.2-million during the period, mostly via its stake in CTV/Globemedia. The one bright spot for the company, however, was Harlequin, which reported an 11.2% increase in profits. Accordingly, Torstar president Robert Prichard was full of praise for the romance publisher in the Q4 press release, saying:

We are very pleased with Harlequin’s performance and prospects. We expect continuing stable results building on the success and growth of the last three years. Overall, we anticipate Harlequin will deliver a fourth good year in a row. Harlequin’s results have held up well to date despite the recession.

Overall annual revenue for Harlequin was $473-million for 2008, a $9-million increase over 2007. Retail sales were up $13.3-million, direct-to-consumer sales were down $6.4-million, and overseas sales were up $2.7-million.