Total revenues for the third quarter ended December 26, 1998, increased 19% to C$210.6 million at Chapters. The increase was led by improved superstore sales, which rose 66.5% to C$104.9 million due to a 5.7% increase in comparable store sales as well as to the opening of new outlets. Chapters had 52 superstores operating in the third quarter.

Despite a 1.5% gain in same-store sales at its traditional outlets, total revenues in the segment fell to C$95.1 million from C$106.6 million, due entirely to the closing of 44 stores in the preceding 12 months.

Chapters also reported that during the quarter "other" revenues rose to C$10.6 million from C$7.3 million. The company attributed the gain to its new university bookstore operation, Internet business and growing calendar kiosk operations. Chapters reported that its online bookselling unit, launched October 20, 1998, "has shown early results that support the company's belief in the growth potential of this business."

For the nine-month period ended Dec. 16, 198, total sales at the chain rose to C$432.3 million, from C$350.8 in the comparable period a year earlier. Chapters had 327 stores at the end of 1998.