Woes Continue at Check Printer Deluxe
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Deluxe Corp. said yesterday it overcame continuing declines in its core check printing business to report a 20% gain in fourth quarter earnings, to $47 million, or 92 cents a share. Most of the increase, however, was made up from an $11 million gain from the termination fee from a small business outsource contract. Deluxe, which is about to be eclipsed as the leading check printer by the merger of John H. Harland Co. and Clarke American, reported continued declines in its revenue base, with a 1% drop in fourth quarter sales, to $427 million, and an 8% fall in checks revenues to $161 million. For the full year Deluxe reported a 4% drop in revenues, to $1.64 billion, and a 15% decline in revenues from its core checks business. As a result, Deluxe reported a 36% decline in fiscal year earnings to $101 million, or $1.95 a share.