From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 15:18:45


                         By Julian Shipp 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- The future of Presbyterian Publishing Corp. (PPC) looks 
promising, according to corporation executives who presented an update 
during the March 8--12 General Assembly Council (GAC) meeting. 
     PPC's 1995 budget forecasts a $14,000 profit and Price H. Gwynn III, 
PPC board chair from Charlotte, N.C., cited five reasons he believes PPC is 
on the road to profitability and economic stability: 
     *the "can-do spirit" of PPC employees 
     *stringent cost-cutting measures 
     *an extensive reduction in staff 
     *strong sales momentum among several PPC product lines 
     *the power of prayer. 
     "We finished 1994 with an operating surplus of two-tenths of 1 percent 
of sales," Gwynn said, adding PPC published 62 new titles in 1994. "That 
means we are still tenuous, fragile and painfully thin.  But during the 
previous year we lost over $1 million, so the turnaround is tremendous." 
     PPC's total 1994 curriculum sales came in $1.4 million below budget. 
Estimated 1994 curriculum sales, including the revised "Celebrate" series, 
were $5.6 million, versus a curriculum sales budget of $7.2 million. 
     Gwynn said sales resulting from the "outsourcing" of PPC's retail arm 
to Cokesbury are "up sharply" and PPC's upgrading of computer hardware and 
software has resulted in a savings of approximately $10,000 a month. 
     Additionally, Gwynn said, PPC recently signed a two-year curriculum 
development contract with the Rev. James D. Brown, GAC executive director; 
and Davis Perkins, PPC president and publisher; regarding the sharing of 
profits or losses from the corporation's curriculum sales. 
     According to Brown, the contract also outlines how PPC and GAC 
entities will work as partners in the future sharing of resources that come 
through the sale of Christian education materials. 
     To celebrate, Gwynn said, PPC will throw a privately financed, 
invitation only party May 22 at the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville. 
     Perkins said PPC is involved in "deliberate" and "intensive" 
telemarketing activities regarding its curriculum material and initial 
results suggest such efforts will continue in the future. 
     Perkins said PPC will also continue to seek "bottom-line 
profitability" from Westminster/John Knox Press. Additionally, several new 
program resources will be introduced this year. These include a new 
biblical series for laity scheduled for release this fall and two 
electronic versions of The Book of Common Worship tentatively scheduled for 
summer release. 
     Organizationally, Perkins said, PPC is doing "more with less." The 
company now has about 20 fewer employees than it had prior to last year's 
downsizing. Nonetheless, Perkins said, the corporation is not yet in the 
     "The economic forecast for 1995 is partly sunny," he concluded. "But 
there's no reason yet to take PPC off your prayer list. We still need your 
prayers and your business." 
                             # # # 

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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