B&N Nook digital business up 45%

B&N Nook digital business up 45%

Barnes & Noble has reported revenues for its Nook digital business for $933m for the full year to 28th April, an increase of 45% for the period, despite device sales declining in the fourth quarter. 

The US retailer was reporting its fiscal 2012 year-end results, stripping out its Nook results in a separate segment for the first time. 

Consolidated revenues increased 2% to $7.1bn compared to the 2011 fiscal year, with consolidated EBITDA was up 5% to $171.4m over the year

B&N c.e.o. William Lynch said he felt the company was "strategically well positioned to grow value for our shareholders" over the next fiscal year, and said: "We grew our business in 2012 while continuing to make the necessary investments for the future of the business. In digital, our Nook content sales continued to explode with 119% year-on-year growth . . . In retail, we had a terrific year growing comparable bookstore sales 4.5% for the quarter and 1.4% for the year, a result of our effective new merchandising efforts and continued industry consolidation." 

The statement said the company's strategic partnership with Microsoft to form new subsidiary Newco is "in the process of implementing the work necessary to complete the separation and close the Microsoft transaction". 

In the company's retail segment, which now includes results from Barnes & Noble bookstores as well as BN.com, sales were $4.9bn for the full year, a drop of 1.5%. Comparable bookstore sales increased 1.4% for the full year, with the rise attributed to increased sales of Nook products, and strong titles including The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey trilogies. 

In the Nook segment of the results, revenues for the fourth quarter were $164m and $933m for the year, with Nook segment comparable sales increasing 1% for the fourth quarter while increasing 45% for the full year. 

Digital content sales were up 65% for the fourth quarter and 119% for the full year on a comparable basis, growing comparable digital content sales to $483m for the full year. Comparable sales reflect the actual selling price for digital books sold under the agency model rather than just the commission received.