State of the Company
The retail book industry continues to be increasingly competitive with the collapse of several competitors and others closing in on market share. Fiscal 2014 was expected to be a challenging year for Barnes & Noble due to mediocre sales expectations predicted by our critics. The digital reader market continues to climb in popularity, allowing for entrants into the electronic book market share. Next day and even same day delivery of books are having a huge negative impact on the traditional bookstore model. We are happy to report that, despite the poor outlook for 2014, we have made great progress and solid financial returns. We generated $6.4 billion in consolidated revenues and most importantly, consolidated annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $251 million. Sales remained strong and comparable to the previous year for the retail segment. The B&N College subsidiary is proving to be the most successful segment with substantial growth over 2013. Nook sales have dropped significantly, although EBITA loss has decreased. We are facing another tough year and must continue to adapt to the quickly changing environment. Through a reorganization effort, we have made significant changes to our leadership team. Our new CEO brings extensive experience to the company. He has been successful in turning companies around that have fallen on hard times. We are optimistic that 2015 will be profitable with opportunities that lead to new business ventures.
A New CEO, A New Beginning
As the newly appointed CEO of Barnes & Noble, I am honored to stand side by side with all of you, where we will continue to grow and lead our company to a prosperous future. Through pri...
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...e not invincible and not as resilient as we once were. The practice of acting proactively through market intelligence, predictive analytics and observing consumer spending trends, must be inherited immediately. I will accomplish this by getting in front of all employees and earning their trust. The most important thing that I can do in the early days is listen to the employees and respond to their ideas and needs. The organizational restructure will empower new and existing management to lead Barnes & Noble into a new, clear direction. We will stop the profit loss by divesting in the hardware business and focus on complementing our stores with electronic media options. International expansion and B&N Education will open new opportunities for exponential growth. The bookstores of tomorrow may be different form, but they will exist, succeed and prosper.
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