Hurt by lower Nook sales, store closures, and a decline in BN.com sales, total revenue at Barnes & Noble fell 3.1% for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2016, compared to fiscal 2015.
Revenue in fiscal 2016 was $4.16 billion, down from $4.30 billion a year ago. The retailer also reported a net loss of $24.4 million in the most recent year, compared to net income of $36.6 million in fiscal 2015. Excluding the $39.1 million loss from discontinued operations, B&N posted earnings of $14.7 million, down from $32.9 million in income from continuing operations in fiscal 2015.
As usual, the retail division performed much better than the Nook unit in the year. Full year revenue at the stores was $4.03 billion, down 1.9% from fiscal 2015, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) fell from $317.7 million in fiscal 2015 to $215.2 million in fiscal 2016. Comparable store sales were flat in the year, while comp sales excluding the sale of Nook products rose 0.4%, slightly behind the 1% increase that B&N had expected.
EBITDA in the division was dragged down by a number of one-time charges, including a $20.9 million pension settlement charge connected to the termination of the company’s pension plan. Other charges were a $10.5 million executive severance charge related to the spinoff of Barnes & Noble Education and a $3.8 million publishing contract impairment charge.
In the Nook unit, total revenue fell 27.4%, to $191.5 million, while its EBITDA loss shrank to $64.7 million, from $83.9 million in fiscal 2015. Sales of both devices and digital content fell in the year. During the fourth quarter, B&N continued its efforts to restructure the Nook division and incurred $4.0 million of expenses tied to that effort. The restructuring involved costs associated with outsourcing some technology functions; consulting fees; integrating Nook into the retail business; an the discontinuation of its its U.K. app and video businesses.
Company executives did not hold a conference call to discuss the results, but are holding an “investor day” on Thursday. During this "investor daily," B&N executive will discuss the company's financial results, business strategy and long-term outlook. Among the topics to be discussed are B&N's four new concept stores, the first of which will be opened in Eastchester, N.Y., in October.
Looking at fiscal 2017, B&N said it expects comparable bookstore sales to be approximately flat to an increase of about 1%. It also expects full year consolidated EBITDA to be in a range of $200 million to $250 million, with retail store EBITDA of $240 million to $280 million and Nook EBITDA losses declining to a range of $30 million to $40 million, including previously announced transitional costs.