HARRISON, N.J. — For years, one of North America’s top papermakers was on the verge of collapse.
Now, it’s thriving again.
As papermakers across the country face a resurgence in popularity and revenue, the Houghton-Mifflin Co. says it has sold more than 30 million papermakers and sold more in the past 12 months than at any point in its history.
That’s good news for a company that is reeling from a downturn in its bottom line and in a market that is struggling to get traction.
Houghton, Mifflin and Co. reported revenue of $2.8 billion for the second quarter ended March 31, up 10% from the same period last year.
The company’s profit fell 7.2% from a year ago.
It also reported $3.1 billion in losses.
It’s the largest quarterly loss in the company’s history.
“It was a tough year for the company, and the bottom line is no different for us,” Houghon CEO Steve Loomis said in an interview with The Associated Press.
“But I think it is the best we’ve been for a long time.”
Houghon’s chief executive said the company expects to post a $2 billion loss this year.
Its stock rose 8.4% Friday to $22.35.
Huffon also announced Friday that it is launching a digital service that will allow customers to order and receive the paper, and to have their orders delivered online.
Houghons website is also expanding to allow customers more control over the way their paper is made.
The company also plans to introduce a digital subscription service for its subscribers starting in 2019.
“I think it’s the first step in our plan to move forward,” Haughey said.
“We need to get to a point where we have a good balance between the business model and the revenue model, and I think we have that now.”
In the past decade, Houghtons sales have dropped by 70%, down from nearly $20 billion in 2006 to $17.9 billion last year, according to data from Markit.
The stock has lost more than a third of its value.
Haughey’s team, which includes his father, was in trouble a decade ago.
After the company was forced to lay off a third-ranking employee, it faced a collapse in its stock price.
The board voted to layoff an additional 30% of Hough’s staff and lay off Hauglets entire business unit.
Hughons stock tanked, dropping from $14.75 in 2007 to $1.50 in 2012.
Haugley said in that year’s bankruptcy petition that he “couldn’t afford to stay on as the CEO” and his family would have to move to Hawaii.
In the end, Haugles board gave him the boot.
He was ousted as CEO in 2017.
The Houghmans have struggled since.
The business, which was founded in 1902, is in bankruptcy proceedings.
But Hough has made a lot of progress, including adding a new office in New York City.
Houg, who is married with three children, said he plans to continue to grow the company.
The AP spoke with Haughers two top executives: Steve Lomis, who runs the company and was CEO from 2004 to 2016, and Gary Houghson, who has been CEO since 2014.
They declined to be interviewed.
Haughton’s stock price has soared since the Haugings were ousted.
It has soared to more than $50 a share from about $15 a share in 2015, and has risen to about $33.50 a stock from about half that level in the last three years.
The family is planning to buy a home in the Bay Area.