Business Briefs / Free comic day, Pitney Bowes records revenues increase, profits
Free comic day
NORWALK — Six stores in southwestern Connecticut are signed up for Free Comic Book Day, sponsored annually the first Saturday in May by Diamond Comic Distributors and allowing enthusiasts to go home with a free comic book from among 50 titles.
Local participants this year include Alternate Universe in Milford; Cave Comics in Newtown; the Comic Mint in Stamford; Gamer’s Gambit in Danbury; Heroes Comics & Cards in Norwalk and Heroes 4 Sale in Southbury.
This year’s titles include comics featuring The Avengers, Doctor Who, Pokemon, Disney and Star Wars, to name a few. For a full catalog of available titles, participating stores and other information, visit Freecomicbookday.com.
Gamer’s Gambit is among the stores offering other events in connection with Free Comic Book Day, in its case a costume contest for kids and adults.
Pitney Bowes records revenues increase, profits
STAMFORD — Technology firm Pitney Bowes saw its quarterly revenues grow and notched a profit as it benefited from a recent acquisition, according to its latest earnings report released Wednesday.
First-quarter revenues for the Stamford-based company hit about $983 million, an 18 percent increase from the same period in 2017. Its profits reached about $54 million, compared with a profit of $65 million a year ago.
The growing returns showed the impact of Pitney’s $475 million acquisition last October of Austin, Texas-based Newgistics, which specializes in parcel logistics.
“The headline for the quarter is our company continues to move to growth, and our strategy is delivering results,” Pitney CEO and President Marc Lautenbach said in an earnings call Wednesday.
Despite the growth, Pitney shares closed at Wednesday at about $9, down 10 percent from their Tuesday closing total.
Among other indicators, commerce solutions’ revenues jumped 73 percent from a year ago, to $381 million, powered by the addition of Newgistics.
Small- and medium-sized business solutions’ revenues dropped 8 percent to about $423 million, as returns from both North American and international mailing declined.
Software solutions’ revenues grew 4 percent, to about $82 million. The returns would have declined without the implementation of a new revenue-reporting standard.
“Our SMB business got off to a slow start, performing below expectations … our software business had no large deals in the quarter,” Lautenbach said. “That said, both businesses are off to solid starts, and we expect these businesses to improve in the second quarter.”
Pitney announced Monday it had agreed to sell its Document Messaging Technologies production-mail business and supporting software for $361 million to investment firm Platinum Equity. Production mail saw quarterly revenues rise 9 percent, to $97 million.
after 3 years
MILFORD — Suzanne Greco is retiring as CEO of Subway, more than three years after she was promoted to the role after her late brother and Subway cofounder Fred DeLuca stepped aside.
Subway named as interim CEO Trevor Haynes, who joined Subway in 2006 and is chief business development officer. Greco has set a June 30 retirement date, and will continue as an adviser to the company’s executive team.
Greco, 60, joined Subway in 1973 as a sandwich “artist” after graduating from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, and was elevated to CEO in January 2015 as DeLuca fought cancer. He died on Sept. 14, 2015. DeLuca created the company in Bridgeport in 1965 with backing from his co-founder, Danbury resident Peter Buck, who continues to hold an ownership stake with the widowed Elisabeth DeLuca.
“Subway has been part of my life since I was 7 years old,” Greco is quoted as saying in a news release issued Wednesday by Subway. “I love the brand and the company, and I always will, but it’s time for me to have more balance in my life. I feel very good about the strategic moves we’ve made in the last three years, and I have confidence in the future of the company.”
The company franchises more than 44,000 locations globally, but fell precipitously last year on Entrepreneur magazine’s annual “Franchise 500” list of the top franchise opportunities. Under Greco, Subway has responded by updating the look of its restaurants, adopting digital ordering technologies and adding new condiments and menu items, as is the case with McDonald’s and other rivals.
Last year, Subway announced it would add 200 jobs in Milford focused on digital marketing and other technology forays. The town of Milford listed Subway’s headquarters employment at about 980 people as of 2017.
Greco had given no indication of plans to retire while participating in a Wall Street Journal interview for a profile that ran two weeks ago, telling the newspaper she does not hold shares of Subway. Her activities include boating, traveling and shepherding her daughter to equestrian events.