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For week ended December 26, 1999 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

Franklin Covey earnings down 34%
Deseret News 22Dec99 B4
By Max B. Knudson: Deseret News business editor

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Franklin Covey, the publisher of time management tools and advice operated by LDS management gurus Hyrum Smith and Steven R. Covey reported earnings down 34% from last year for the first quarter of its fiscal year, which ended November 27th. The company blamed the lower performance on investment in new online training and tools meant to bring its products to the Internet.

Sales for the quarter were $144.1 million, up 3 percent over the first quarter of fiscal 1999. But earnings fell to $7.2 million, or 26 cents a share for the first quarter of its year 2000 fiscal year.

The growth in sales is also a mixed picture, since substantial grown in electronic products were offset by lower volume through Publishers Press, its print publishing arm that until recently distributed books by other publishers to the LDS market. Franklin Covey also discontinued its mass market channel.

The company has cut 340 jobs since last year, due to a restructuring plan it announced in 1999. It still expects further cutbacks by the end of May. It also plans to eliminate its offices in the Riverwoods area of Provo.

During the quarter, Franklin Covey purchased the Internet calendar and scheduling website, as a way of gaining entrance into the Internet. The acquisition of this business was a substantial cause of the lower earnings. But the company has high hopes for this investment. "The acquisition effectively combines the offline brand leadership, customer loyalty and personal productivity expertise of Franklin Covey with the Internet application design, development and marketing expertise of," the company said.

The result of this acquisition will be 'Franklin Planner online', a "complementary extension" its print product, the Franklin Planner, and its other software products, such as Franklin Planner for Microsoft Outlook, Franklin Planner Software, and software for handheld devices such as the Palm Pilot and Windows CE. "Synchronization and print capabilities will unify paper, desktop, device and Web platforms into a single planning system," the company said.


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