TORONTO _ Indigo Books and Music Inc. (TSX:IDG) said Tuesday that it earned $8.5 million in its latest quarter, down from $22 million a year ago, as sales improved three per cent. The retailer said the profit amounted to 33 cents per share for the quarter ended Dec. 28 , down from 86 cents per share a year earlier, due to a one-time tax charge. Excluding the valuation allowance, Indigo said it would have earned $20.9 million or 82 cents per share for the quarter. Sales for 13-week period totalled $332.4 million , up from $322.6 million . On a same-store store basis, sales at Indigo and Chapters superstores were up 2.6 per cent, while small format store same-store sales were up 0.5 per cent. Online sales increased 19.3 per cent to $41.5 million from $34.8 million a year ago. "It is very satisfying to see the company achieve this positive growth _ particularly given the impact of unusually bad weather this holiday season," chief executive Heather Reisman said in a statement. "Clearly the investments we are making to transform Indigo are resonating with our customers." Indigo operates under several banners including Indigo Books and Music , Indigospirit, Chapters, the World's Biggest Bookstore and Coles. Shares in Indigo , which released its results after the close of markets, were down three cents at $8.42 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
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