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Holiday Book Sales Show Mixed Results At BAM, Barnes & Noble

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January 15-31, 2006 Edition

Holiday Book Sales

Show Mixed Results

At BAM, Barnes & Noble

NEW YORK, NY/1/6/06—Books-A-Million posted an 8.9 % gain in book sales for the nine-week holiday period ending December 31, 2005 with total revenue of $123.9 million. Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble super stores reported an increase of 5.2 % for the same period with sales of $1.1 billion.

BAM’s comparable store sales for the period increased 4.1%, lead by strong sales in gifts and books, while magazine sales remained flat. Online sales also exceeded budget estimates according to BAM CEO Sandy Cochran.

At Barnes & Noble, same store sales rose 2.6%. Barnes & Noble.com increased only 1% to $106.1 million. Sales at Dalton fell 18.4%, to $41.3 million due to store closings. Comp store sales at Dalton gained 3%.

Book sales outperformed overall store sales according to B&N CFO Joe Lombardi. Hottest categories for the holidays were biography, history, current events and science fiction. Children’s books also performed well.

BAM’s strongest categories were cookbooks, game books, and children’s books. The religious category also did well.

BAM’s successful holiday period has prompted it to increase its fourth quarter earnings guidance from the previous $0.59-$0.61 to $0.65-$0.68 per share. Full-year earnings guidance has increased from $0.70 to $0.72 per diluted share to $0.76 to $0.79 per diluted share.

Barnes & Noble reaffirmed its earnings target of $1.72 to $1.76 per share for the fourth quarter and $1.99 to $2.03 per share for the full year based on holiday performance.