With major appliances playing a key role last year, Home Depot reported a 9 percent increase in sales for fiscal 2002, reaching $58.2 billion, up from $53.6 billion in the year-ago period. The home improvement retailer reported record earnings for the 12 months, climbing to $3.7 billion, compared with $3 billion a year earlier. Comp-store sales were flat.
"The Home Depot delivered strong earnings growth for fiscal 2002 as we continued the process of transforming the infrastructure of our business," said Bob Nardelli, chairman/CEO. "In 2002, we were especially pleased with our appliance business, where we captured considerable market share," he said.
Home Depot's fourth quarter, ended Feb. 2, did not live up to the success of the full year, with sales declining 2 percent, to $13.2 billion, compared with $13.5 billion in the same three months in the previous year. Comp-store sales dropped 6 percent in the fourth quarter, while net earnings slid to $686 million, down from $710 million year over year.
Home Depot plans to open 200 new stores in fiscal 2003. The retailer expects its sales to increase between 9 percent and 12 percent for the current 12 months, while comp-store sales are seen as flat to slightly positive for the same period.