Last year was one that brought many great successes. We had 99 titles on The Globe and Mail bestseller list last year, substantially beating the 79 we had in 2006. Of those, an impressive 14 hit the #1 position, compared to 11 the year before, and of these many were our own homegrown successes.
In 2007, our Charitable Donations focused primarily on charities and organizations related to our business, including literacy organizations, literary festivals and education programs. In 2007 we also began two new initiatives. I would like to thank you all for your support of our commitment to Indigo’s The Love of Reading Fund, which funds school libraries across the country that have almost no books. I have had the opportunity to witness the great positive impact this can have, and am very proud that Random House of Canada is contributing to this worthwhile cause. I would also like to mention the work we began this year with Read for the Cure, a charitable organization raising funds for cancer research through book clubs. We will be continuing our efforts with them in 2008.
As most of you are well aware, this past year was our most challenging in recent years, due to the pricing issue that we faced as a result of the higher Canadian dollar. I believe the rebates we offered our customers to help them lower prices for consumers was the right approach for us and helped to maintain our Canadian business.
As the fluctuations in the dollar continue, so too will this pricing issue remain with us. We have lowered prices substantially, and while I hope lower prices will lead to increased sales levels, they will have an impact on our sales and profit levels in 2008. This is certainly a challenge, but I believe we are equal to it. We have a great team of committed and creative people, and we surely have great authors who write wonderful books.