'Fifty Shades' lifts book trade at Barnes & Noble


BARNES & NOBLE can thank the erotic series Fifty Shades of Grey for helping to boost traffic through its stores, lift sales of ebooks and narrow first-quarter losses.

In the three months to July 28th, the bookseller reported a net loss of $41 million, or 78 cents a share, compared with a loss of $56.6 million, or 99 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had forecast a loss of 98 cents.

The EL James Fifty Shades series, dubbed “mummy porn”, occupies the three top slots on the New York Times best-seller list for ebook and print sales.

Barnes & Noble’s introduction of Nook ebook readers has helped the company offset the slump in demand for printed books in the US. Amazon still dominates with 60 per cent or more of the US market, while Barnes & Noble estimated its own share at 25-30 per cent.

Total Nook revenues held steady at $192 million as a 46 per cent rise in digital content sales made up for a decline in revenues from device sales. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012