So the Barnes & Noble’s earnings are out, and despite the rumours, the company says they remain committed to the Nook.
That’s not to say the numbers were good. On the contrary, third quarter revenues were down almost 9% on the previous year, at $2.2 billion. Earnings were even worse, down from $150 million to just $55 million, giving a net loss of $6.1 million for the quarter. The Nook division of the business, which includes the devices and content, declined 26% year on year, with revenues of $316 million giving a net loss of $190 million.
It seems that Nook sales over the Christmas period in particular were not what were hoped for. That’s not really surprising given the exceptionally strong competition from Amazon with ridiculously cheap Kindle Fires, and the Asus Nexus 7 at the bottom end of the market, and the mighty iPad mini and the top of the range iPad 4 at the upper end. There’s never been a greater choice of quality ebook readers, and prices are tumbling.
Despite the bad figures, the company said that they remain committed to their Nook business, both hardware and book sales. They have conceded however, that some cost cutting will be necessary in order to keep the division afloat. Even so, the company has issued guidance for fourth quarter losses on a par with the same period last year.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the Nook store can find a way to thrive. The ebook market needs more and better competition, losing a player like Barnes & Noble would be a serious blow to that.