Barnes & Noble narrows loss, digital and Nook sales up 140%

New York City -- Barnes & Noble said Tuesday it narrowed its net loss in its fiscal first quarter as sales of its Nook e-book reader and e-books helped offset lower physical book sales. The chain, which recently received a $204 million investment from former suitor Liberty Media, said sales of Nooks, e-books and magazines and other digital content and accessories, rose 140% to $227 million during the quarter.

Barnes & Noble lost net $56.6 million in the quarter, or 99 cents per share, compared with a loss of $62.5 million last year. Revenue rose nearly 2% to $1.42 billion.

"In fiscal 2012, we expect to see leverage as our digital sales growth is projected to exceed the growth of investment spend," said CEO William Lynch.

Same-store sales fell 1.6% at regular stores and 1.8% at college bookstores. But revenue from the web site rose 37% driven by sales of Barnes & Noble's Nook Color and Nook Simple Touch Reader, as well as digital content.

Barnes & Noble says it expects to get a lift in sales of $150 million to $200 million after former rival Borders, which declared bankruptcy in February and said it would liquidate in July, completes liquidation sales and ends operations.

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