E-book sales surge in first quarter, says B&N

E-book sales surge in first quarter, says B&N

US retailer Barnes & Noble has reported a 46% rise in digital content sales for its fiscal 2013 first quarter, ending 28th July.

The bookselling chain, which this week announced that it will launch its Nook e-reader in the UK in October, also said it had seen "improvement" at its bookstores, helped by market consolidation and sales of the Fifty Shades trilogy.

First quarter consolidated revenues increased 2.5% year-on-year to $1.5bn, with first quarter consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at $4m compared to a loss of $24m a year ago. However B&N reported a net loss of $41m for the quarter.

Revenues for its Retail segment, consisting of the B&N bookstores and BN.com businesses, stood at $1.1bn, up 2%, with comparable bookstore sales up 4.6%.

The Nook segment, consisting of the company's digital business, including readers and digital content, had revenues of $192m, flat on the previous year, with digital content sales, including e-books and apps, up 46%. However Nook price adjustments and continued investments in the Nook business saw EBITDA losses for the segment increase by $6m to $57m.

Commenting on the results, c.e.o. William Lynch said the retailer was "excited to expand our award-winning Nook digital bookstore and devices beyond the US market and to work with UK retailers to bring millions of UK customers the best experience in digital reading."