The book publisher and distributor posted a pretax profit of
Revenue fell by 3% to
The group left its interim dividend unchanged at
"Despite a tough first half we expect the new product and the marketing & sales initiatives that we invested, in 2013, to deliver a strong second half in our publishing businesses. There are positive signs of the turnaround we targeted in the Books & Gifts Direct business in
Quarto said trading will be weighted towards the second half of this year more than usual, and said despite setbacks in the first part of the year, it expects to deliver full year earnings growth.
"On the basis of current levels of underlying trading, the group is on track to meet management expectations for the year and deliver both debt reduction and earnings growth," it said.
Quarto shares were down 8.9% at
Quarto said first-half revenue declined due to a combination of factors. It said revenue in its core publishing businesses were down as a result of its US wholesaler HDA ceasing operations, backlist destocking and weak uptake of new titles by major book retailers.
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