Barnes & Noble Q1 loss narrows; Nook revenue up 140 percent

Barnes & Noble says that its Nook e-reader and Nook Color tablet helped increase Q1 revenue by 140 percent.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Barnes & Noble said that its net loss narrowed in Q1, as sales of its e-reader and Android-powered tablet along with e-book sales, helped offset low physical book sales.

Traditional bookseller are facing tough competition from online retailers -- particular those like Amazon, which rivals Barnes & Noble with its Kindle e-book reader.

The largest U.S. bookseller says that its net loss totaled $56.6 million, at just under $1 per share -- compared to $62.5 million, or $1.12 per share for the same quarter last year.

Barnes & Noble put itself up for sale last year, but only found one firm offer for the business. Instead of buying the company outright, Liberty Media Corp. decided to instead invest $204 million in the Nook business -- which now appears to have paid off.

However, its Nook e-reader and Nook Color tablet business has risen by 140 percent to $227 million, helping to plug the gap in traditional book sales.

But the Nook and Nook Color still has a long way to go until it can dent the already well-established brand of the Amazon Kindle.

Amazon has not shared the exact figure of how many Kindle e-readers it has sold, but said that it owned 70 percent to 80 percent of the total marketshare. Barnes & Noble, however, said that it only secured 25 percent of the total e-reader market.

But while revenue from its website alone rose 37 percent through digital content, stores fell short at 1.6 percent at regular stores, and 1.8 percent at college bookstores -- normally seen as a weight of a businesses' health.

Barnes & Noble, which operates 704 bookstores across the United States, should benefit from the completed liquidation of its bankrupt rival Borders Group Inc..

While analysts expected an estimated $1.46 billion in revenue, Barnes & Noble fell just short at $1.42 billion -- only two percent.

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