Barnes & Noble's execs took their anger out over its struggling Nook business on staffers as the booksellers digital arm continues to suffer financial setbacks, while at the same time rededicating themselves to the category and announcing a new Nook would be released next year.
The company also had good news to report as cost saving measures helped make it profitable for the quarter. Overall Barnes & Noble posted a profit for the quarter of $63.2 million on sale of $1.9 billion, up from a loss of $3.7 billionon during the same period last year. The company lost money in all its categories, retail, college and Nook, but was pushed into the black through cost saving measures.
The bad news was included in a very straight forward statement in the company's financial release it said layoffs took place at the end of the quarter and more may be forthcoming in an attempt to bolster the business. The exact number let go was not announced.
"As part of the company's ongoing efforts to rationalize the Nook business and position it for future success and value creation, staffing levels in certain areas of the organization have changed, leading to certain job eliminations after the quarter ended. These ongoing efforts may involve additional actions, Barnes & Noble said.
Nook revenues, which include digital content, devices and accessories, fell for the quarter to $157 million, down 50.4 percent. Of that figure, device and accessory sales accounted for $100 million, down 58.2 percent compared to the same period last year. Digital content sales dropped 26.5 percent to $57 million.
In an attempt to control its hardware inventory levels the company did not introduce a new e-reader during the last holiday period. The plan was to blow through its existing inventory while producing more older models utilizing already purchased components to meet customer demand during December and early 2014.
CEO Michael P. Huseby did say that Barnes & Noble would introduce a new color Nook sometime during 2015. No details were mentioned.
Despite the losses and cutbacks Huseby said in a written statement that the company is dedicated to reversing this slide.
"We have taken steps to reduce costs and device exposure, while focusing our efforts to reverse the content sales decline," continued Michael P. Huseby. "We remain committed to delivering world-class reading experiences to our customers through our reading centric e-Ink and color reading devices. The company is actively engaged in discussions with several world-class hardware partners related to device development as well as content packaging and distribution. As a result, we plan to launch a new Nook color device in early fiscal 2015."
The company had been shopping its Nook business, but no mention of it was made in the financial release.