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MPN announces positive preliminary financials


March 13, 2003
Mennonite Church Canada/MC USA/Mennonite Publishing Network joint release
-by MPN staff

Scottdale, Pa. (MPN) — Following a year of challenging restructuring and transformation, Mennonite Publishing Network (formerly Mennonite Publishing House) announced an increase in net assets in preliminary financial results for the fiscal year just ended. The results show significant and encouraging financial improvements for the organization during the past twelve months

Net revenue improved to $488,000 on consolidated sales of about $17.1 million for the twelve months ended Jan. 31, 2003 (all numbers in US funds). Net assets increased from a negative $68,000 a year ago, to $420,000 at fiscal year end. For the comparable period last year, net revenue was a deficit of $1,703,729 on consolidated sales of $17,083,354.

Included in the net revenue of $488,000 are one-time charges of $362,000 primarily associated with closing the printing operation. Final financial results will be released following the audit scheduled to begin March 17.

“The improved financial condition at MPN comes as the result of significant cost reductions while maintaining the historical level of sales,” said Phil Bontrager, MPN’s interim CEO. “The many changes in the organization have enabled us to stop the financial hemorrhaging that challenged us a year ago. Now we can continue the transformation process and build a networked organization that is financially viable and well positioned to serve the church.”

The improved performance has permitted MPN to begin to pay back the indebtedness taken on a year ago when the organization faced a financial crisis. Since October 2002, MPN has reduced from $2.3 million to $1.67 million a loan received to retire debenture notes issued over several decades. Repayment of an additional $2.7 million in loans guaranteed by Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA is scheduled to begin in early 2004.

Donations received in response to the “Barn Raising” campaign initiated in fall 2002 also contributed to the financial turnaround. Donations of $678,600 were received in the fiscal year 2002-03, with more than $410,000 of that amount contributed by congregations and individuals across North America since September 2002.

“This outpouring of support from our denominational constituency is particularly gratifying and has contributed significantly to the financial turnaround,” Bontrager noted. “Every dollar of debt that can be retired through donations will free up resources for use in meeting the publishing needs of the church.”