Indigo Books & Music had a solid third quarter, with revenue up 8.2% over the comparable period in 2016. Net income in the quarter, ended December 30, 2017, increased 6.5%. Sales in the period were C$433.3 million, while earnings hit C$42.6 million. Indigo noted its sales in the quarter were the highest quarterly revenue in its history.
The Canadian chain attributed the sales gain to double-digit growth in its general merchandise category, as well as strong online sales. Overall same store sales were up 7.9% led by a 26.4% increase of online sales with comp store sales up 4.9% in Indigo’s superstores and 2.3% in its smaller format stores.Sales of books increased over last year’s comparable period, but the company did not say by how much.
Given its strong financial performance to date--sales for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2017, were up 6.6% over the same period last year and earnings rose 8.3%--the company said it will move ahead with a range of growth initiatives.
CFO Hugues Simard said Indigo’s plan to open a store in New Jersey remains on track, and that the company is looking at the possibility of opening stores elsewhere in the U.S. He said Indigo expects to test three or four stores in the U.S. in the next 24 months.
The priority in Canada is to continue to remodel more of its superstores to become what the company calls “cultural department stores for book lovers.” There are currently six such outlets, and Simard said Indigo expects to remodel another 20 stores in fiscal 2019.
Other plans include opening a flagship store in Vancouver and opening a new distribution facility in Calgary.