"This business feels a lot better than it did last year," Reader's Digest Association CEO Tom Ryder told analysts Friday during the company's quarterly conference call. For the three months that
ended September 30, Reader's Digest posted a quarterly loss due to the previously announced delay in the booking of some revenue from its book unit, Reiman Publications. For the quarter, revenue was
$517.1 million, an increase of 4% over a year earlier. Net losses of $5.2 million were recorded, up from $1.1 million last year. Ryder expects advertising to pick-up significantly in the next three
months, and he pointed to the recent remake of Reader's Digest's flagship publication. Looking ahead, Ryder is optimistic about the coming year, particularly about a new "family magazine" set to debut
in 2003. "It's early, but the research looks good," he told analysts. The company has announced the magazine's rate base will fall to 11 million next year. "We have no plans to take it further down
than that," said Ryder, noting that despite the circulation decreases Reader's Digest expects to increase its ad rates in 2003.