The February 2017 acquisition of MBS Textbook Exchange was the major driver of a 48.7% jump in sales at Barnes & Noble Education in the quarter ended July 29, over the comparable period last year. Total sales in the period were $355.7 million, up from $239.2 million a year ago. MBS added about $139 million to sales.
Despite the revenue gain, net loss in the first period of fiscal 2018 was $34.8 million, up from $27.9 million in fiscal 2017.
The company reported that, in addition to providing $139 million in revenue, MBS contributed $16.1 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. This led B&NE executive chairman Michael Huseby to state that the company remains convinced the acquisition will be “highly beneficial.”
Same store sales in the Barnes & Noble College unit fell 2.5%, compared to last year’s first quarter. B&NE said that while sales of general merchandise rose, sales of textbooks fell 8.5%.
During the quarter, BNC opened 24 physical stores; this means that BNC now has 781 college stores throughout the country. MBS, meanwhile, opened 10 virtual stores, raising the count of virtual stores to 714.
Right after the close of the quarter, B&NE announced that it paid $58.5 million for Student Brands.