After posting an increase in profits in the first quarter, Books-A-Million did it again in the second quarter ended August 1, with net income jumping 133.8%, to $1.5 million. Sales fell slightly, dropping 0.7%, to $122.4 million. Comparable store sales were off 4.9% in the quarter. BAM's aggressive new store opening policy helped to offset the decline in same store sales. The company opened two stores in the quarter and finished the period with 223 stores in 21 states compared to 212 outlets in 20 stores a year ago. Chairman and CEO Clyde Anderson attributed the decline in comps to the overall sluggish retail environment plus difficult comparisons to last year when Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn turned into a major hit. He said earnings improvement was due to “continued discipline in the management of our business.”
Terry Finley elaborated a bit on the top line performance, noting that hardcover bestsellers have suffered the most this year as cost conscious consumers opt for bargain books. Despite tough comparisons to last year, the teen category continues to be a "standout," Finley said, while conservative titles led the growth on the nonfiction side.
For the first half of the year earnings rose 130%, to $3.6 million on a 0.6% sales increase to $240.6 million. Comp sales in the first six months were down 3.1%.
The retailer also announced several promotions in its executive ranks. Doug Markham has been promoted to the newly created position of executive v-p/chief administrative officer in charge of the company’s warehouse operations, information technology and human resources, as well as the oversight of BAM’s finance function. Markham had served as CFO since July 2006 and secretary since March 2008, except for the period from January 2009 to July 2009, during which he was on deployment to active military service. Brian W. White will succeed Markham as CFO. White served as interim CEO during Markham’s deployment and had been v-p, controller. Terry Finley has been promoted to executive v-p/chief merchandising officer in addition to his current responsibilities as president, Books-A-Million, Inc. merchandising group. BAM also announced that Clyde Anderson has assumed the duties of president in addition to his current positions as chairman and CEO.