From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
PUBLISHING CORPORATION REPORTS PROMISING
05 May 1996 07:32:50
95010 PUBLISHING CORPORATION REPORTS PROMISING
By Julian Shipp
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Presbyterian Publishing Corporation (PPC) might
just be preparing to throw one huge party following the
presentation of promising financial figures here during the
company's board of directors meeting Jan. 10.
Preliminary 1994 financial reports indicate that the
corporation might realize a net income of $147,000. Additionally,
the 1995 budget shows a $14,000 profit.
Even so, total curriculum sales came in at $1.6 million below
budget. Estimated 1994 curriculum sales, including the revised
"Celebrate" series, were $5.6 million. The 1994 curriculum sales
budget was $7.2 million.
According to Price H. Gwynn III, of Charlotte, N.C., PPC board
chair, the corporation's financial situation improved for three
primary reasons: "outsourcing" of the corporation's retail division
to Cokesbury, rigorous expense control over the last two years and
strength in sales from the company's "Presbyterian Hymnal" product
For example, "Presbyterian Hymnal" sales came in at a whopping
$1.4 million for the year, more than a quarter million dollars over
budget. And the Cokesbury takeover of PPC's retail division (PPC
and Cokesbury entered a five-year working agreement Nov. 4) is
expected to relieve the corporation of an incessant money loser.
"We've got a long way to go before we get our debts and
everything paid off, but of course we've got to walk before we can
run," said Gwynn.
"We're going to make a profit, but we clearly would like to
have launched this year making closer to our budget," said Doug
Deatz, finance and operations manager. "But I'm very satisfied with
where we ended up in light of the curriculum sales situation."
Deatz said PPC has paid off the balance of its short-term line
of credit with the Presbyterian Church. The $1.4 million credit
line was validated by the GAC last February and PPC used half of
the money. Repayment was due by the end of the year.
Still pending is a $2.3 million long-term loan from the
denomination. Interest and principal payments on the 20-year loan
are scheduled to begin in 1997.
Board members were delighted to hear that the Rev. James D.
Brown, executive director of the General Assembly Council, and
Davis Perkins, PPC president and publisher, agreed to a series of
church contracts on Dec. 22 that had been in negotiation since
Designed to enhance working relationships between the two
organizations, the contracts include distribution management,
computer usage through the Office of Information Services,
accounting, legal and risk management, 1994 audit fees and a
memorandum of understanding between PPC and GAC leadership.
The contract regarding curriculum development is still on the
discussion table but is expected to be developed in time for
approval by the PPC board of directors, the Congregational
Ministries Division Committee and the GAC during their respective
meetings in March.
"I did not think that we would enter 1995 with signed
contracts," Perkins said. "I'm really pleased that (Brown) was able
to provoke this."
"I think we're doing well in this continuing journey," Brown
said. " I think this was a good resolution because it broke the
logjam and enabled us to move forward."
Board members also agreed to lower the minimum of each PPC
employee salary grade range by 10 percent to obtain salary and
compensation guidelines they said are compatible with publishing-
industry standards and the Louisville market.
According to Perkins, this was also done in order to
accomplish a goal of the General Assembly Task Force on
Publications and will affect only new hires, not the corporation's
72 current employees.
"This does not mean that every employee will be hired in at
the salary range minimum," Perkins said. "We always, of course,
have the flexibility to bring people in above minimum. But
practically speaking, it means we can pay new hires less than we
For example, the minimum salary for employee grade levels 11
and 12 is currently $15,000 but would be $13,500 for new PPC
# # #
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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