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Handleman distribbery on a roll in 1st qtr.

Company posts $1.7 mil net income, 155% profit jump from previous year

HOLLYWOOD — Handleman Co., a “rackjobber” that distributes music and video products to department stores, more than doubled its new income and boosted sales in a fiscal first quarter that the company noted is usually a weak one.

The Troy, Mich.-based company, which also operates a North Coast Entertainment division for proprietary music, video and licensing operations, posted $1.7 million in net income for a three-month period ended July 29. That represented a 155% rise from profit of $682,000 in the same period of the previous fiscal year and a 16th consecutive quarter of earnings improvement.

Overall, revenue rose 2% to $231.4 million. CEO Stephen Strome noted that music unit sales for U.S. rackjob customers rose almost 3%, though units sales industrywide increased less than 2%.

“We are pleased with our overall results for the first quarter, which has historically been the company’s weakest quarter for both sales and earnings,” Strome said.

In the NCE division, sales were off 15% for its Madacy Entertainment record label, and were flat at homevideo distributor Anchor Bay and children’s filmed-entertainment unit itsy bitsy Entertainment, officials said.

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