August 15, 2012, 11:46 AM

Sales dip slightly for Indigo Books & Music in Q1

But net loss improves by 70% for the quarter.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Web sales declined by 1.1% in Q1 for Indigo Books & Music.

Indigo Books & Music Inc.’s web and total sales declined slightly in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, but net loss for the book, gift and specialty toy retailer dropped significantly.

For the quarter ended June 30, Indigo, No. 192 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500, reported:

  • Online sales of C$17.8 million ($18.0 million), a 1.1% decrease from C$18.0 million ($18.2 million) in Q1 of 2012.
  • Total sales of C$186.5 million ($188.3 million), down by 0.8% from C$188.0 million ($189.8 million).
  • Superstore sales of $134.9 million ($136.2 million), a 0.1% decrease from C$136.2 million ($137.5 million).
  • Small-format stores sales of C$29.4 million ($29.7 million), up by 3.5% from C$28.4 million ($28.7 million).
  • Comparable-store sales for Indigo and Chapters superstores declined by 0.9%, while Coles and IndigoSpirit small-format stores were up 6.0%.
  • Net loss of C$5.5 million ($5.6 million), an improvement of 70% from a net loss of C$18.1 million ($18.3 million) in the prior year quarter. The retailer attributes the substantial reduction in net loss to improved net margins and lower operating expenses. “While a loss in this quarter is typical for our business, we’re encouraged that our efforts to improve margins and drive productivity, two of our top strategic priorities for this year, are clearly showing positive results,” says CEO Heather Reisman.

E-commerce accounted for 9.5% of total sales for the quarter compared with 9.6% in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

Total revenue was down $1.5 million from last year in large part because of lower e-reader sales compared with the same quarter last year when the retailer launched its Kobo Touch e-book reader and a delay in the launch of new Kobo devices, which the company continues to sell. Book sales were up 0.6% on the popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey and Hunger Games trilogies, Indigo says.

Indigo sold the Kobo division to Rakuten Inc. in January for $315 million.

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