The reopening of most campus stores and higher sales of digital products lifted revenue at Barnes & Noble Education 17.6% in the first quarter ended July 31, 2021, over the comparable period a year ago. Revenue rose to $240.8 million, from $204 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. B&NE’s net loss was cut to $44.3 million, from $46.6 million.
Sales in the company’s retail segment jumped 32.6%, to $210.5 million, in the quarter. The jump was attributed to sales of textbooks, including digital textbooks, and general merchandise, which had large gains as students began to return to campus.
Sales in B&NE's wholesale division dropped 44.6%, to $44.5 million. B&NE said the decline was mainly due to last year's shift to meeting demand for 300 of its stores through its wholesale business, while campus stores were closed. In the digital solutions segment, sales increased 41.4%, to $8.3 million.
The company’s outlook for fiscal 2022 continues to call for positive adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) compared to a loss in the last fiscal year. B&NE hopes adjusted EBITDA will return close to pre-Covid levels in fiscal 2023.