Once upon a time, a company grew up to become one of the world's leading children's book publishers. Scholastic Corporation sells more than 280 million books annually to children in the US and more than 140 other countries. It operates through four divisions: Children's Book Publishing and Distribution; Educational Publishing; Media, Licensing and Advertising; and International. It owns the rights to properties such as Goosebumps and The Baby-Sitters Club and is the US distributor of the Harry Potter series, the best-selling children's series of all time. Known for its school book fairs, Scholastic also publishes magazines, textbooks, and software for students and teachers, and produces children's TV shows.
In 2011 the company's revenues remained flat while net income dipped slightly. Its financial results in part reflected lower sales of educational technology compared to 2010, when Scholastic benefited from the federal stimulus program. Also in 2011 the company reported increased product costs relating to promotions, as well as increased shipping costs (including postage, freight, and fulfillment expenses). Print bestsellers in 2011 included the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, which was also an e-book bestseller, The 39 Clues series, and individual titles such as Linger by Maggie Stiefvater and It's Christmas, David! by David Shannon.
In order to grow its Children's Book division, Scholastic in 2012 acquired Weekly Reader, an educational magazine designed for the kindergarten through 12th grade classroom. It bought the magazine from Reader's Digest Association for an undisclosed amount, though the price tag was estimated to be less than $5 million. The previous year Scholastic focused on e-commerce initiatives at the division, launching a new online ordering platform called COOL (Clubs Ordering On-Line).
Scholastic's Media, Licensing and Advertising division has built a library of more than 500 half-hour television productions. Titles include Maya & Miguel and The Magic School Bus. In addition, Scholastic has a partnership with NBC and Telemundo (along with other content and broadcasting companies) to produce and distribute television for children through a venture called Qubo. Spots reinforcing the importance of books and reading play throughout the Qubo programming block, which airs on NBC and Telemundo in English and Spanish.
The company generates more than 20% of sales outside of the US. Scholastic has long-established operations in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK, with newer holdings in China, India, and Ireland. Going forward, Scholastic expects to see strong growth in Asia and improved results in the UK.
Richard Robinson (a descendant of founder Maurice Robinson) owns more than 15% of the company.
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