Bookshop Barnes and Noble has posted a loss for its first quarter due to increased spending by its Internet business, to keep pace with rivals.
The consolidated net loss for the quarter ending 1 May, 1999, was $5.9 million, or $0.09 cents a share which was in line with analyst expectations. When broken down, this translates as earnings of $0.08 cents per share from the retail business and a $0.10 cents a share loss from the Internet business, Barnesandnoble.com.
The Internet business is a joint venture between Barnes and Noble and German media giant Bertelsmann.
Total sales for the quarter were $718.3 million, up 9.3 per cent from $657 million for the same quarter last year. Sales for Barnesandnoble.com were up 259 per cent from the year ago quarter to $32.3 million.
"Our strong comparable store sales coupled with our surging Internet business provide evidence that our customers are responding favourably to our multi-channel strategy," said Leonard Riggio, chairman and chief executive of Barnes and Noble. "We believe that online book sales are substantially accretive, and that our Web site serves to increase awareness of our franchise."
Barnesandnoble.com is expected to offer 20 per cent of its shares to the public next week in its second attempt at an IPO.
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