NEBS gains on sale of payroll unit

For the three months ended Dec. 28, revenue at New England Business Service (NYSE: NEB) was $152.6 million. That’s down 3% from $157.5 million for the comparable quarter of 2001. Domestic direct marketing sales fell 4%, to $80.9 million from $84.4 million the previous year.

But net income for the multititle mailer, which sells business stationery, office and packing supplies, and work apparel, increased 39%, to $12.9 million from $9.3 million 12 months prior. The Groton, MA-based company’s earnings include a net $4.0 million pretax gain from the sale of its equity interest in Advantage Payroll Services.

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