Following only days after someone said that B&N Nook and ebook sales are on the rise, Barnes & Noble has revealed that its digital revenues have declined for the umpteenth straight quarter.
Total company revenues fell 6.6% to $853 million, while Nook revenues fell 28.1%, to $29.5 million. That is literally the lowest Nook revenues ever recorded.
Nevertheless, there was some small good news: B&N also reported that the Nook division turned a small profit with an EBITA of $617 thousand. But it’s hard to tell if that is actual profit given that B&N also recorded an operating loss on Nook of $2.7 million.
Due to the accounting slight of hand, the only figure we can trust is the gross revenue.
B&N today reported sales and earnings for its fiscal 2018 first quarter ended July 29, 2017.
Total sales for the first quarter were $853 million, declining 6.6% as compared to the prior year. Comparable store sales decreased 4.9%, as declines in non-book categories outpaced improved book trends during the quarter. The Company also experienced lower online and NOOK® sales during the quarter, which were impacted by the prior year eBook settlement and lower promotional activity.
The consolidated first quarter net loss improved to $10.8 million, or $0.15 per share, compared to a loss of $14.4 million, or $0.20 per share, in the prior year.
The consolidated first quarter operating loss of $15.2 million improved $6.2 million versus the prior year. Retail incurred an operating loss of $12.5 million, while NOOK incurred an operating loss of $2.7 million.
Consolidated first quarter EBITDA was $11.2 million, as compared to $9.6 million a year ago. NOOK generated EBITDA of $0.6 million, an $8.6 million improvement over the prior year on expense reductions. Retail EBITDA of $10.6 million decreased $7.0 million primarily due to the comparable store sales decline, somewhat mitigated by expense reductions.
“Our first quarter earnings results improved over the prior year, as we were able to mitigate the sales decline through expense reductions,” said Demos Parneros, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. “We expect to improve our performance in the back-half of the year, which coupled with our focus on expense reduction, will enable us to achieve EBITDA of $180 million.”
For fiscal year 2018, the Company continues to expect comparable bookstore sales to decline in the low single digits and full year consolidated EBITDA to be approximately $180 million.
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