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Home Depot Fiscal Q1 Sales Climb 5.8%

5/20/2003 08:42:00 AM Eastern

ATLANTA - Wading through what it called "a tough environment" by introducing new products, increasing overall inventory levels and debuting a cohesive nationwide marketing program, The Home Depot increased fiscal first quarter sales by 5.8 percent, hitting $15.1 billion, up from $14.3 billion in the year-ago period. Comp-store sales, however, declined by 1.6 percent year-on-year.

Net earnings at the home improvement retailer climbed to $907 million in the three months, ended May 4, compared with $856 million in the first quarter of last year.

Looking at the positive side of Home Depot's first quarter, customer transactions rose to 296 million, from 284 million, average sale per transaction reached $51.29, vs. $50.40, square footage increased to 169 million, up from 151 million and capital expenditures hit $756 million, compared with $639 million.

On the negative side quarter over quarter, weighted average weekly sales per store declined to $753 million, vs. $808 million.

While Home Depot remains cautious about the domestic economic outlook, it expects its fiscal year sales to increase between 9 percent and 12 percent. However, comp-store sales are anticipated to be flat to slightly positive for the 12 months.