Financial Engineering Checks Decline In Core Business At Harland Clarke

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SAN ANTONIO – Harland Clarke reported Friday its core check-printing business continues to erode but refinancing huge debt incurred in the separate takeovers of John H. Harland Co. and Clarke American helped keep it in the black for the fourth quarter and for fiscal 2010.

The company reported net income of $26.4 million for the fourth quarter and of $114.2 million for the year, even as revenues declined by 3.6%, or $15.2 million, for the quarter, and by 2.4%, or $41.1 million, for the year. The drop off was due primarily to volume declines and decreased revenues for the company’s core check-printing operations, the company said.

The results were partially offset by a $3 million decrease in interest expense for the fourth quarter and a $21.4 million decrease in interest expenses for the year, as well as revenue gains by other company operations, including its Harland Clarke Financial Solutions and Scantron operations.

All of the major check printers, including Deluxe Corp., continue to report falling volumes and revenues for their core businesses as consumers increasingly opt for electronic forms of payment.

Harland Clarke is owned by M&F Worldwide, a conglomerate controlled by financier and well-known corporate raider Ronald Perelman.

 

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