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Quarto Makes US Buy, Gets Hit By Returns

As reported yesterday in a variety of outlets (including the Bookseller) Quarto, the London-based and listed international book publisher, has bought MBI Publishing Company, a publisher and distributor of special interest titles, based in Minneapolis. MBI, which becomes part of the Quayside Group and will managed by its CEO, Ken Fund, publishes books for transport enthusiasts, and is a US distributor for a number of overseas, predominantly UK-based, publishers of specialist transport titles; it also publishes a range of military history and militaria titles, under the Zenith imprint, and a more general list of regional, outdoor activity, sport, and special interest titles under the Voyageur Press imprint.

But all is not completely rosy in the house of Quarto, which saw sales dip 5% in the six months to June 30, with profit growth of just 1%, after its UK publishing businesses Aurum and Apple were hit by returns of “strongly promoted” 2006 titles. Laurence Orbach, chairman and chief executive, said he was satisfied with the performance of the group in a “tough and demanding business environment.”

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