Crediting record performance to a spurt in book sales abroad, Waverly Inc., a Baltimore-based printing and publishing firm, reports an all-time-high net income of $4 million, or $1.01 a share, for 1990, up 66.7 percent from 1989 earnings of $2.4 million, or 65 cents a share.
The company, which specializes in medical books and journals, had net sales last year of $121.7 million, a 25.6 percent increase over 1989 when sales were $96.9 million.
Waverly also announced a regular quarterly dividend of 10 cents a share, payable March 12 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 26.
Earnings in the fourth quarter were up 78.2 percent to $1.1 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with $611,000, or 16 cents a share, for the same period a year ago.
"We had a great fourth quarter in books," said Samuel G. Macfarlane, chief financial officer. While other divisions of the company did well, it was the book-publishing division that made a large gain, he said.
Macfarlane attributed this spurt in business to book sellers in Australia, Canada and England putting off buying books until later in the year to keep inventories low.
Annual profits were also boosted by a one-time contribution of $1.1 million in the first quarter caused by requiring wholesalers to buy the books from Waverly, rather than take them on consignment.
Waverly expects net income to drop by about 20 percent in 1991. It will not have the one-time contribution it had last year and recent acquisitions will add to expenses as the assets are depreciated, Macfarlane said.
In 1990 the company bought the publishing firm Urban & Schwarzenberg, based in Munich, Germany, and Harwal Publishing of Media, Pa. Last month, Waverly completed the purchase of Lea & Febiger of Malvern, Pa.
Waverly expects to have record earnings again in 1992, according to a prepared statement.
Waverly also announced that John F. Spahr Jr., chief executive officer of Lea & Febiger, was named yesterday to the Waverly board of directors.