Barnes & Noble reported sales of $727.2 million for the second quarter ended July 31, an increase of 9.8% over the previous year. Its comparable-store superstore sales rose 6.6%, which it claimed was the best level in the industry.

Superstore sales represented $633.5 million, or 87% of total sales, compared to 84% for the same period in 1998.

Consolidated net earnings were $23.5 million, or 33 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $5.7 million last year.

As already announced (News, Aug. 2), sales at barnes& were up 243% over the second quarter in 1998, to $39.1 million, and there were more than 2.2 million customers as of the end of June. Meanwhile, COO Alan Kahn said B&N's Bookmaster system, which connects stores to the online inventory, had now been rolled out to connect 500 stores, giving customers at those stores the same range of choices as online buyers.