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Legal Battle Burdens Barnes & Noble

24 Aug, 2010 By: Billy Gil

Barnes & Noble reported a consolidated net loss of $62.5 million for the first quarter (ended July 31), compared with a profit of $12.3 million during the same period a year ago. The loss included pre-tax legal expenses of $9.5 million from blocking an attempt by investor Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. to raise his 18.7% stake in the company, after the company put itself up for sale earlier this month.

Comparable-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores decreased 0.9% for the quarter. Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch, in a financial call, touted sales of the company’s Nook e-book reader.

“As we have previously stated, the company is allocating significant financial resources to strengthen its digital businesses in fiscal 2011 to maximize our ability to power growth and capture share of the emerging digital market,” Lynch said. “We are encouraged by our results to date, which are ahead of plan, and remain committed to transforming Barnes & Noble to a company committed to expanding and enhancing the reading experience for book lovers and college students through rich physical and digital content, an industry-leading retail and e-commerce offering and world-class digital devices, software and technology.”

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