Barnes & Noble 2012 Sales Results: Nook up 45%, Digital Content up 119%

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Revenue at Barnes & Noble was $7.1 billion for fiscal year 2012, an increase of 2% for the nation’s largest bricks-and-mortar bookseller. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were up to $171.4 million, an increase of 5%, but the company still took a loss for the year overall of $68.9 million.

Flat results aside, the company’s focus is now on how to realize the potential of its Nook business, which it split off into a new partnership with Microsoft earlier in 2012 as the tech giant made investments in the new entity that will total $605 million over five years.

“In digital, our Nook content sales continued to explode with 119% year-on year growth,” said Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch in a statement. “In the quarter we also announced a historic new partnership with Microsoft that will include a significant investment in Newco, and that will capitalize the company to fuel continued growth in digital and international expansion.”

For 2012, the Nook business took in almost $1 billion in revenue, clocking in at $933 million, a 45% increase over the previous year. Digital content sales on the Nook were $483 million for the year, up 119% versus last year.

Meanwhile, retail sales, which now includes sales from BN.com as well as the bricks-and-mortar stores were $4.9 billion for the year, down 1.5% versus last year but still the bulk of Barnes & Noble’s revenues. Bookstore sales were up 4.5%, but BN.com sales continue to decline, the company said. The college bookstore segment’s sales were down to $1.7 billion for the year, a decrease of 1.9%.

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