At the end of 2020, the Hachette Book Group was the fourth-largest trade publisher in the country, with estimated annual sales of roughly $700 million. When the acquisition of Simon & Schuster—the third-largest trade publisher—by #1 trade publisher Penguin Random House is finally completed, HBG will move into the third spot. Last week, HBG took a major step to ensure that it will assume S&S’s position as the largest trade publisher behind PRH and HarperCollins, with its agreement to acquire Workman Publishing for $240 million. One of few remaining independent publishers of its size, Workman had sales of $134 million last year, and its addition will get HBG revenue over the $800 million level.
Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) today reported earnings per diluted share for the first quarter ended May 5, 2018 of $0.51, compared with the first quarter ended April 29, 2017 of $0.37, which included a debt refinancing charge of $0.06.
Total Company net sales increased 5.8 percent for the first quarter ended May 5, 2018 compared with the quarter ended April 29, 2017. This reflected an increase of approximately 250 basis points primarily due to the shift of a Nordstrom Rewards loyalty event into the first quarter relative to the second quarter last year. Comparable sales for the first quarter ended May 5, 2018 increased 0.6 percent, compared with the 13-week period ended May 6, 2017.
The Company continues to invest in new market opportunities and digital capabilities to drive customer engagement and market share gains. During the quarter, the Company made the following achievements in executing its growth plans:
• The Company reached a significant milestone in its history with the opening of the Nordstrom Men’s Store in New York City.
• The Company expanded its presence in Canada with the introduction of Nordstrom Rack, opening three stores in the Toronto and Calgary markets.
• In executing its digital strategy, the Company increased sales enabled through digital capabilities by 18 percent in the first quarter, compared with the same period in 2017. Digitally enabled sales represented 29 percent of first quarter sales, up from 25 percent a year ago.
• Sales from Nordstrom Rewards customers represented 53 percent of first quarter sales, compared with 47 percent a year ago.
FIRST QUARTER SUMMARY
• First quarter net earnings were $87 million compared with $63 million during the same period in fiscal 2017. Results in 2017 included an interest expense charge of $18 million related to a debt refinancing.
• Earnings before interest and taxes (“EBIT”) were $153 million, or 4.4 percent of net sales, compared with $151 million, or 4.6 percent of net sales, during the same period in fiscal 2017.
• In Full-price, which consists of Nordstrom U.S. full-line stores, Nordstrom.com, the Canadian operation, Trunk Club, Jeffrey and Nordstrom Local, comparable sales increased 0.7 percent. The top-ranking merchandise categories were Kids’ Apparel and Men’s Apparel.
• In Off-price, which consists of Nordstrom U.S. Rack stores, Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook and Last Chance clearance stores, comparable sales increased 0.4 percent.
• Gross profit, as a percentage of net sales, of 34.1 percent decreased 21 basis points compared with the same period in fiscal 2017. This reflected higher occupancy expenses related to U.S. and Canada Rack openings in addition to planned pre-opening expenses associated with the Nordstrom Men’s Store NYC.
• The Company ended the first quarter in a good inventory position with net sales growth exceeding a decline in inventory.
• Selling, general and administrative expenses, as a percentage of net sales, of 32.3 percent increased 32 basis points compared with the same period in fiscal 2017, primarily due to planned pre-opening expenses associated with the Nordstrom Men’s Store NYC. The Company’s rate performance reflected an improvement relative to recent historical trends driven by productivity gains in technology, supply chain and marketing.
• During the quarter, the Company repurchased 0.3 million shares of its common stock for $13 million. A total capacity of $401 million remains available under its existing share repurchase board authorization. The actual timing, price, manner and amounts of future share repurchases, if any, will be subject to market and economic conditions and applicable Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) rules.
more at: http://press.nordstrom.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=211996&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2349730