Boosted by a big jump in online business, sales at Canada's main bookseller, Indigo Books & Music, rose 2.5%, to C$286.6 million ($231 million), for the third quarter ended January 1. Helped by lower interest costs, net income rose 17%, to C$33.8 million ($27.2 million). The brightest spot was online, where sales rose 32.3%, to C$21.1 million, aided by the sale of iPod items. Sales at superstores open at least a year rose 2.5%, while comp-store sales at mall stores rose just 0.6%, resulting in less than a 1% gain for the chain's bricks-and-mortar stores.
Indigo CEO Heather Reisman noted that two key shopping days, December 23 and 26, "coincided with severe snow storms in central and eastern Canada, affecting traffic in the stores." Otherwise, the company had "strong sales throughout the holiday period."
Year-to-date results were mixed. In the nine months, net income jumped 48%, driven by gains in the holiday season. Revenue, however, slipped 0.4% due to the sale of Indigo's campus bookstore operations, store closures and the company's "supply chain restructuring initiative."