International magazine group Reader’s Digest Association is to wield the axe after swinging to a loss in its fiscal third quarter.

The company – publisher of Reader’s Digest, one of the world’s biggest-selling titles – is making around 200 layoffs in its European, Asian and Latin American divisions in a bid to slash £44 million ($70m; €64m) from costs.

RDA posted a loss of £2.9m in the quarter, down from profits of £10.3m in Q3 2002, even though total revenues increased from £340m to £354m.

“The difficult global economic environment continues to affect revenue generation for all of the company's businesses,” commented chairman/ceo Thomas Ryder. “For certain businesses, particularly international, response rates have been lower, causing not only revenues to fall but also operating margins as well.”

The cutbacks – euphemistically termed “right-sizing” by Ryder – are not expected to have a significant positive impact on results until the company’s fiscal 2004.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff