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Reading Takes a Back Seat at Home as School Closures Decimate Scholastic's Sales

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  • SCHL

By Christiana Sciaudone

Investing.com - Books are not flying off the shelves.

Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL) Corporation shares fell 11% on Friday after revenue slid without in-person book clubs and book fairs to drive sales. Fourth quarter revenue plummeted 40%, to $187 million, after schools around the world closed down in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

The decline was partially offset by a $25 million increase in domestic trade sales largely thanks to Suzanne Collins’s fourth title in the Hunger Games series.

More than 90% of U.S. schools use Scholastic's products. As schools reopen in whatever form, Scholastic expects strong demand for children's books delivered through book clubs and book fairs to schools and direct-to-home, as well as strong sales for digital education programs, including classroom magazines, as schools look for digital learning tools to bridge the gap between home and school.

The company expects revenue in fiscal 2021 to be slightly below 2020 sales, offset by a $100 million cost reduction plan.

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