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DVD, Online Help Barnes & Noble Q4

20 Mar, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

DVD movie tie-ins helped specialty bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. March 20 post fourth-quarter (which ended Feb. 2) profit of $115 million, down less than 9% from nearly $127 million during the same period last year.

The results contrasted with rival Borders Group Inc., which received emergency funding from its largest investor and said it might put itself up for sale.

In an analyst call, COO Mitchell Klipper said Borders' investment bankers had not been in contact but that management would entertain dialog on the matter.

“We'll certainly take a good look at the company and put it under review,” Klipper said.

Book titles associated with current and pending DVD releases included The Kite Runner, Atonement, I Am Legend, Into the Wild and Charlie Wilson's War, among others.

“Our gift, DVD and children's businesses all performed well during the quarter,” said CFO Joseph Lombardi.

He said DVD sales were hampered when contrasted with comparable quarter book/DVD sales of Rhonda Byrne's The Secret.

“It was the best-selling combination non-fiction book and DVD title in our history,” Lombardi said.

For the quarter, consolidated sales topped $1.84 billion ($5.4 billion for the fiscal year), down slightly from $1.87 ($5.2 billion) for the previous year when the period included an additional week. Online sales totaled $177 million ($477 million for the fiscal year), up 13% (13.4% for the fiscal year) from the previous year.

Deteriorating music CD sales contributed to a 0.5% decline in same-store (open at least 12 months) sales for the quarter.

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