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Profits up at Books-A-Million, new CEO named

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Books-A-Million's quarterly profit edged up to $7.6 million, from $6.7 million a year earlier.

Sales increased 10.7% to $166.9 million, from $150.8 million. Same-store sales declined 5.7%.

During the quarter, the retailer said it incurred costs of $1.6 million related to the closing of 21 underperforming locations and the opening of 41 new Bam! stores in October and November.

For the full year, Books-A-Million reported that it lost $2.5 million, compared with a $9 million profit in 2011. Sales dropped 3.6% to $468.5 million and same-store sales declined 9.5%.

Commenting on the results, Clyde Anderson, chairman and CEO, said, "We were pleased with the holiday season and the improved sales results in the fourth quarter. Our investments in the new stores yielded our strongest fourth quarter performance in years, our new businesses performed well and the erosion of the core book business slowed from the pace we faced earlier in the year. Our balance sheet remains strong, and we are focused on establishing BAM! stores as the premiere destination for books, toys, tech and more."

In related news, Anderson announced that, while he would remain in the executive chairman role, Books-A-Million had named a new CEO: Terrance Finley, who presently fills the president and COO position. Finley became president, CEO and COO effective March 13.