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Harry Potter works magic on Indigo’s Q2 sales numbers

(Photo: Raysonho, Creative Commons)

(photo: Raysonho, Creative Commons)

A new entry in the Harry Potter series helped bolster second-quarter revenue for Indigo Books & Music, offsetting a continued drop in colouring-book sales.

Revenue for Indigo’s most recent quarter, ended Oct. 1, was $217 million, up $11 million over the same quarter last year, giving the company three years of continuous quarterly growth. In a conference call to investors on Nov. 8, Laura Carr, Indigo’s chief financial officer, said growth was seen in both physical retail and digital sales, across both general merchandise and the company’s core book business. General merchandise saw double-digit growth in Q2, accounting for 32.6 per cent of total revenue, despite the company operating three fewer stores than last year. A low single-digit increase in book sales was largely driven by a single title, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a script of the popular stage play based on stories by J.K. Rowling.

Indigo’s operating and administrative costs rose $3.4 million in Q2, credited to increased sales and higher wages. Higher sales, however, resulted in the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization improving by $700,000 for the quarter and reducing the company’s net loss to $1.2 million, down $600,000 over the previous Q2.

Year to date, total comparable sales increased by 6.1 per cent, while Indigo’s EBITDA showed a loss of $1.4 million. In the same period last year, the company’s EBITDA showed a profit of $1.8 million, resulting from a one-time net proceed relating to the early exit of a lease. On an adjusted basis, Indigo’s EBTIDA has improved by $1.3 million over last year to date.

Carr said Indigo’s Sherway Gardens store in Toronto, a new “shop within a shop” concept launched in May, was performing “above our expectations,” and that the company will move ahead with its plan to roll out the format across the chain.