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Home Depot Sales Up 10.5%

8/19/2003 09:14:00 AM Eastern

Atlanta - Home Depot posted a fiscal second quarter 10.5 percent overall sales increase, reaching $18 billion, up from $16.3 billion in the year-ago period with sales in stores open at least 12 months moving into the black for the first time in a year.

Net earnings increased to $1.3 billion in the second three months, ended Aug. 3, compared with $1.2 billion in the same quarter in 2002. Comparable-store sales climbed 2.2 percent.

'Our customers are responding to our store reinvestment strategy, which is delivering better, cleaner, brighter stores and more new and innovative products,' said Bob Nardelli, chairman/CEO. The home improvement retailer is investing significant funds in store remodels, marketing and technology, with major appliances being given added importance through expansion and presentation.

Home Depot logged 350 million customer transactions in its second quarter, up from 323 million year-on-year. Average sales per transaction rose to $50.60 in the three months, compared with $50.13 for the second quarter a year earlier. This was the highest second quarter average ticket in the company's history. Capital expenditures increased to $915 million in the second quarter, up from $634 million in the same three months the previous year.

The retailer, noting the majority of its selling departments posted positive comparable sales in the second quarter, reaffirmed fiscal-year financial guidance, with 12-month sales growth positioned for between 9 percent and 12 percent.

For the six months, Home Depot sales reached $33.1 billion, up from $30.6 billion in the year-ago period. Net earnings climbed to $2.2 billion for this period, compared with $2 billion in the first six months of 2002.

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