Acquisitions offset declines in comparable store sales in the Barnes & Noble College Booksellers division of Barnes & Noble Education, leading to a 17.6% increase in sales at the company for the fiscal year ended April 28, 2018, over fiscal 2017. The company had a net loss of $252.6 million in the year compared to earnings of $5.4 million in fiscal 2017. The loss includes $313 million in goodwill charges.
B&N College remains B&N Education’s largest segment by far, with revenue of $1.82 billion in fiscal 2018, down from $1.85 billion in fiscal 2017. B&NE attributed the decline to a 4.1% decrease in comp store sales, driven primarily by enrollment declines—especially at community colleges—and the overall decline in average textbook sales prices.
Sales at MBS Textbook Exchange, which B&N Education bought in February 2017, were $459.5 million in fiscal 2018, up from $34 million in fiscal 2017, which reflected only a few months of sales. In August of that year, B&N Education also acquired Student Brands, and B&N Education has made the company the heart of its newly formed Digital Student Solutions division. Revenue since its acquisition was $15.8 million.
Commenting on fiscal 2018 results, Mike Huseby, chairman and CEO of B&N Education, said that during the year B&NE “began in earnest to transform the company and develop scalable digital solutions that will help us better serve our institutional partners and students. We are confident that we are making the investments and taking the actions necessary for B&NE to effectively compete and win in an evolving educational services marketplace.