Barnes & Noble Education reported that revenue in the first quarter, ended July 28, fell to $337.5 million, down from $355.7 million a year ago. The net loss rose slightly, to $38.6 million, from $34.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2018.
The sales decrease was primarily attributable to declines at MBS and Barnes & Noble College. Those were partially offset by the addition of the Student Brands business in the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, the company said.
B&NE said BNC sales, in what it called its "seasonally low first quarter," decreased 1.9%, as compared to the prior year period. Meanwhile, comparable store sales fell 2.2% for the quarter.
At MBS, total sales of $130.3 million for the quarter decreased 6.8% compared to the prior year period. The drop was due to a 4.4% decline in its wholesales business to colleges. Sales of MBS Direct decreased 11.4% due, primarily, B&NE said, to the timing of shipments for fall rush and lower K-12 sales.
In its newly created Direct Student Solutions group (DSS), sales in the quarter were $5.7 million, reflecting the operating results of Student Brands, which generates sales through subscriptions to its digital properties.
Michael P. Huseby, chairman and CEO of B&NE, said in a prepared statement that the company was “pleased with the strides that have been made across all areas of Barnes & Noble Education this quarter, especially within our DSS segment. We are making the appropriate investments and taking the necessary actions for BNED to effectively compete and deliver on our company purpose—serving all who work to elevate their lives through education.”
Looking at prospects for 2019, the company said it continues to expect sales to be in the range of $2.2 billion to $2.3 billion, which reflects the current expected comparable store sales decline at BNC to be in the mid-single digit percentage point range year over year. B&NE also expects fiscal 2019 adjusted EBITDA to be relatively comparable to fiscal 2018, in a range of $110 million to $125 million.