It's that time of the year when Barnes & Noble's accountants reveal the figures for the quarter to determine if the age of print is over. Turns out there's some good news for bookseller. Overall sales for the chain increased five percent: the company took $2.4 billion through the cash registers. That was split $1.49 billion (up two percent) in high-street retail, online sales took $420 million (up 32 percent year-on-year) and the Nook in all its forms and glories took $542 million (up 38 percent). The only grey cloud was that sales in college-only stores dropped three percent, thanks in part to renting textbooks to impecunious freshmen. They're probably all using that money on buying digital content on their Nooks: digital content purchases increased by 85 percent in a single quarter. Like rival Amazon, it wouldn't release how many devices were sold, except to say it likely maintained its market share.
However, all of that (pretty) good news is a bit of a smokescreen: B&N won't reveal its profits after interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization has been deducted. Pre ITDA income dropped 12 percent from the same period in 2011 and the company has revealed that the BN.com and Nook businesses made a combined loss of $94 million, with annual income looking to be in negative figures.
Update: A tidbit from the conference call, the company believes the device currently holds around 30 percent of the overall e-reader market: using numbers direct from the publishers themselves.