Fatbrain.com Reports Higher Sales, Deeper Losses



Fatbrain.com today reported a 91% increase in third-quarter sales, but its net loss tripled as the cost of revenue soared. Sales at the professional and technical Internet bookseller rose to $10 million for the quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with $5.2 million during the third quarter one year ago. But the company reported a net loss of $9.1 million, compared with $2.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

Internet-only sales during the third quarter of Fatbrain's 2000 fiscal year, which exclude revenue from a pair of California retail stores, rose 180% to $8.2 million, compared with $2.9 million last year. The company added more than 50,000 new customers during the third quarter, while existing customers accounted for about 58.2% of orders placed, the company says.

But the cost of attracting and retaining those customers rose dramatically as well. Fatbrain's cost of revenue rose nearly 106% during the quarter to $7.9 million. Online sales proved even more expensive compared with the year-ago quarter, rising nearly 190% to $6.8 million.

In August, the company launched eMatter, a secure online store for publishing and purchasing books, essays, and other material. The program helped attract $30 million in venture capital

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