Barnes & Noble Nook sales flat as digital content sales rise

Nook content is booming while the tablets aren't moving
Nook content is booming while the tablets aren't moving

Barnes & Noble announced its earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, and is off to a start filled with ups and downs.

Beginning with the downs, sales of the Nook tablet saw practically no increase, only 0.3 percent, earning $192 million in revenue compared to last year's $191 million.

The bookseller blames the trailing sales in part on production issues effecting its Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, which was unable to meet demand.

While Nook tablets aren't flying off of shelves, Barnes and Noble's digital shelves are faring much better.

Content is king

The company saw a 46 percent increase in digital content sales, which includes books, the digital newsstand, and apps for Nook devices.

Brick and mortar bookstores also saw strong sales, with a 5 percent increase over last year. Barnes & Noble credits that success on both the closing of competitor stores like Borders and the success of the Fifty Shades of Grey series.

The bookseller also made brief mention of Newco, its collaboration with Microsoft, only to say that it expects the Microsoft transaction to be finalized in the fall.

Overall, Barnes & Noble reported total revenue of $1.5 billion for the fiscal quarter, with net losses of $41 million.

It makes for a good start to the company's fiscal 2013, but could still lead to a worrying decline if Nook sales don't pick up. Perhaps the impending launch of Nook in the UK will lend a hand in that area.

Via BusinessWire