Indigo First Quarter: Sales Jump 6.8%; Net Loss Cut

In the first quarter ended July 1, revenue at Indigo Books & Music rose 6.8%, to C$206.3 million (US$162.7 million), and the net loss was C$5.3 million (US$4.2 million) compared to a net loss of C$9 million (US$7.1 million) in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue growth was "strong" in bricks-and-mortar operations and "continued to surpass expectations" online, the company said. "This performance was driven by continued double digit growth in the general merchandise business, with exceptional growth in the Lifestyle, Paper and Toy categories. The core trade book business remains healthy, showing growth over last year despite no blockbuster title launches this quarter."

Total comparable sales, which includes both online sales and comparable store sales, increased by 5%.

Indigo noted that during the quarter it opened two more of its renovated new concept stores, in Oshawa and Ancaster, modeled on the Sherway Gardens store that opened in Toronto last year. The company said that "these newly renovated stores, which reflect Indigo's transformation from a bookstore to a cultural department store for booklovers, are all a great success, showing strong revenue growth and improved retail performance metrics. On the basis of these compelling results, the Company will continue to roll out this concept to more stores in the coming quarters."

CEO Heather Reisman commented: "Our outstanding first quarter performance, with strong growth across channels and categories, as well as greatly improved profitability, is a clear reflection of our customers' passion for our brand and the strong engagement of our employees. We are thrilled with our results and energized to keep up the momentum to continue delivering the best customer experience in the market."

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