St Ives suffers sales slump

St Ives, printer of the Harry Potter books, suffered a nine per cent fall in underlying sales in the first quarter but said profitability remained in line with expectations. The printer said the economic outlook remained uncertain with a number of clients cautious about the early part of next year.

St Ives, which has cut jobs and slashed its dividend to save costs, said its book business continued to benefit from steady demand but magazine volumes have seen no sign of improvement and continues to be hurt by lower advertising spend.