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Indigo Books posts net loss of $14M in Q4 due to lower margins, new strategy

TORONTO - Indigo Books and Music Inc. (TSX:IDG) recorded a $14.4-million net loss in the fourth quarter as the company cited lower margins along with costs for severance and store closures and continuing investments in its transformational strategy.

Canada's largest book, gift and speciality toy retail chain, said Tuesday that the loss amounted to 56 cents per diluted share for the 13-week period ended March 29. That compared with a net loss of $8.2 million, or 32 cents per diluted share, for the same period a year earlier.

Revenues for the quarter came in at $184.3 million, up from $184 million year-over-year.

The company says for the year, it recorded a net loss of $31 million, compared with a net profit of $4.3 million in 2013.

Revenues for 2014 were $867.7 million, down 1.3 per cent from $878.8 million a year earlier.

The decline was attributed to strong sales in fiscal 2013 from the Fifty Shades of Grey and Hunger Game trilogies, and to lower e-reader book sales. It said that operating five fewer stores this year also had an impact on revenue.

On a same-store store basis, sales at Indigo and Chapters superstores fell 0.9 per cent, while same-store sales at small format stores, like Coles and Indigospirit, dropped five per cent

"In an industry which is world-wide experiencing meaningful sales declines, we are pleased with the customer response to all our transformation efforts, with the sales performance and with the potential for further growth and profitability moving forward," said Indigo CEO Heather Reisman in a statement.

Shares in Indigo, which released its results after the markets closed, were up 18 cents to $10.43 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Indigo operates under several banners including Indigo Books and Music, Indigospirit, Chapters and Coles.

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