Augsburg Fortress President Marvin Roloff told the publisher's board at its April 27-29 meeting that the company was experiencing better-than-expected sales for the first quarter of 2000.
Calling first-quarter sales of $13.5 million "wonderful early indicators," George Poehlman, vice president for finance and treasurer, said the figure was $300,000 higher than budgeted, attributing the gain to the company's reorganization last year. Although last year the company had an operating loss of $467,000, it expects a $127,000 operating profit for 2000.
This fall the publisher expects to spend $500,000 to launch Sunday/Monday WOMAN, a women's magazine aimed at an ecumenical audience. The expense was authorized April 14 by the board's executive committee. The full board was informed of the decision at the April meeting.
Poehlman said the company also hopes to receive $400,000 in grants or subsidies for the new magazine.
The launch of the new magazine had been delayed for several months. Revised plans for Sunday/Monday WOMAN cut first-year costs "in half" by reducing the number of issues scheduled for 2000 to two issues, with 27,000 copies printed of each, Poehlman said. Six issues are planned for 2001, and by 2004 the publisher expects a circulation of 200,000.
Last fall, Women of the ELCA expressed concern that the new publication could negatively impact development and customer service for its magazine, Lutheran Woman Today, which has a circulation of 180,000.
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