From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 07:32:50


                       FINANCIAL FORECAST 
                         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 
do currently." 
     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   Web page: 


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