Bookseller halts dividend

BARNES & NOBLE, the world’s largest bookseller, has suspended its dividend payments after a drop in profits.

Net profits for the three months to the end of January fell to $60.6m (£37.6m) for the US retailer, down 25 per cent from the $80.4m recorded a year earlier.

The results, impacted by a poor holiday period quarter, prompted the firm to suspend its dividend to preserve its shrinking cash reserves.

Barnes & Noble also decided not to give investors a sales and profit forecast for the current quarter, saying that going-out-of-business sales at 200 locations operated by its bankrupt rival, Borders Group, could pressure it in the short term.

Chief executive William Lynch said: “We’re pleased with our financial results this quarter.”