Aided by a solid fourth quarter, revenue for the year ended January 31, 2015 rose 0.8% at Books-A-Million over the previous year with sales hitting $474 million. The chain also posted a profit of $3.5 million in the year compared to a net loss of $7.6 million in 2013. Comparable store sales increased 0.4% in the year and rose 1.7% in the fourth quarter when total sales rose 1.8% and net income increased to $19.0 million from $12.2 million. Excluding e-reader sales, comp sales were up 2.1% in the final period.
During the quarter, BAM opened one new store as well as one 2nd & Charles outlet, while closing a total of six locations. The company finished the year with 256 outlets.
In brief comments on results, Terry Finley, CEO and president, said, “We delivered strong results for the quarter by building on a successful holiday selling season. Our team maintained the holiday sales momentum to drive success in full-priced books, gifts and café. We are pleased with our profit improvement for the quarter and the year.”
In the conference call discussing results, Finley noted that the company continued to benefit from the positive trends in physical book sales. He said that even in the adult fiction segment, where e-book penetration has been the strongest, BAM had "favorable comparisons" in the final quarter compared to a year ago. Overall, children's books, led by Frozen and Minecraft titles, did especially well in the year, while several nonbook categories also had a solid gains in the year.
Finley said BAM is looking forward to the release of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman this summer which he called a "once in a lifetime event." Pre-orders have been strong for the book, he added.
BAM’s board is currently reviewing a proposal by the family of chairman Clyde Anderson to acquire the shares in the bookstore chain it does not already own, a move that would take the company private. The company had no update on when a decision on the bid would be made.