Revenue inched up 0.4% at Books-A-Million in the quarter ended October 31, 2015, compared to the same period in 2014. Net loss rose slightly to $7.1 million, up from $6.9 million a year ago. Comparable store sales rose 1.6% in the quarter.
Terry Finley, CEO of BAM, said the sales came from improved results in its core book and general merchandise categories with adult coloring books selling particularly well. Higher sales of coloring books also provided a lift to sales of pens and pencils. Other book segments that had gains in the period included children's and graphic novels, Finley said. Events featuring Dr. Ben Carson drove incremental sales, he added. Sales were down in the retailer's media, magazine and electronics departments.
For the first nine months of 2015, BAM sales were down 0.6% from 2014, falling to $311.3 million. The net loss was $18.2 million, up from $15.5 million in the first nine months of last year. Costs in 2015 include about $800,000 in expenses associated with the possible sale of the company to the Anderson family. A special meeting of shareholders is set for December 8. At the special meeting, a vote is expects on the proposal by the Anderson family (the majority shareholder in the company) to buy all outstanding shares.
Finley was mildly optimistic about prospects for the holidays, saying in a conference call discussing third quarter results that the publishing lineup was "solid" and while there are not lots of media driven books this year, they expect big things from the release of the Decemeber 18 Star Wars film.