Additionally, softer retail sales and higher than expected returns have further impacted the performance of Meredith's retail book operations. The current weak retail environment has been noted in recent earnings reports from chain book stores and large home improvement centers, where a significant portion of Meredith's products are sold.
In the past year, Meredith has taken a number of steps to strategically reposition its book operations in the current retail marketplace, including exiting products such as children's books and non-core authored titles. Today, Meredith announced it is further focusing the scope of its book operations on titles with the Better Homes and Gardens imprint, as well as certain other licensed brands. These titles fall more within Meredith's core content areas of cooking, gardening, building and remodeling.
This repositioning represents the bulk of an approximate $16 million after-tax special charge Meredith will take in its fiscal 2008 fourth quarter. It includes adjusting certain book royalties, art and editorial, and inventory accounts, as well as severance for eliminated positions in book and elsewhere in the company. In total, Meredith will eliminate approximately 60 currently filled and 60 open positions.
Given the underperformance of its book operations, Meredith now expects fiscal 2008 earnings per share to be at the lower end of the $3.15 to $3.20 range articulated on April 23. This excludes an estimated EPS impact of approximately $0.33 for the special charge noted above.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements that are
subject to risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on
management's current knowledge and estimates of factors affecting the
|SOURCE Meredith Corporation|
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