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Nook helps salvage B&N sales

NEW YORK — Increases in Nook products helped offset a decline in physical book stores at Barnes & Noble during the second quarter. Total sales for the period ended Oct. 29, 2011, slipped 0.6% to $1.89 billion from $1.90 billion in the year-earlier quarter, with the biggest drop occurring at the chain’s college stores. Online revenue grew 17% in the quarter to $206 million, which the company attributed to increases in sales of ebooks and its Nook line of e-reading devices.

The company posted a worse-than-expected net loss of $6.6 million for the second quarter, compared with a net loss of $12.6 million a year ago.

“The launch of Nook Tablet, combined with the product enhancements to Nook Color and $99 Nook Simple Touch, represents the highest-quality portfolio of digital reading products on the market at incredible values,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble Inc.  “We expect to sell millions of devices during our third quarter, adding to the millions of current Nook customers.  This growing base of customers buying digital content from Barnes & Noble will continue to position us as one of the fastest growing companies in this exploding digital content market, and we project this will generate significant returns on our investments for years to come.”

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