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Barnes & Noble sees Nook fast growth, to go into 9 new countries

Oct 10 (Reuters) - Barnes & Noble Inc expects itsdigital Nook and college bookstore businesses to generatecombined revenues of $3 billion this year, helped by stronge-books sales growth, and the bookseller said on Wednesday itplans to expand its digital bookstore into nine newinternational markets by June.

The bookstore chain's shares rose 8.2 percent to close at$14.94.

Barnes & Noble Chief Executive William Lynch, speaking at aconference of one of its investors, Liberty Media Corp ,said he expects to see "substantial growth" in revenues of NookMedia Inc, the subsidiary created this year that combines itsdigital and college businesses.

Last fiscal year, which ended in June, both divisions hadtotal revenue of $2.7 billion. Morningstar analyst PeterWahlstrom said that implied about 30 percent growth in Barnes &Noble's digital and e-reader business, given the more modestperformance of the college bookstore chain.

The U.S. bookstore chain has invested heavily in its digitalbusiness to help it prosper at a time when more readers areswitching from traditional books to e-books.

Barnes & Noble, which this year is selling its Nooke-readers outside the United States for the first time byteaming up with leading British retailers, said its digitalbookstore would be available in 10 foreign markets by June 2013.

The bookstore chain last month introduced updates to itsNook tablets. The company said pre-orders for those devices,which will start shipping later this month, were up 240 percentcompared with previous Nook launches.

Microsoft Corp has a 17.6 percent stake in NookMedia Inc.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; editing by Gunna Dickson)

((phil.wahba@thomsonreuters.com)(646-223-6128))

Keywords: BARNES&NOBLE RESULTS/NOOK