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Office Depot 2011 Earnings Up

2/28/2012 11:04:01 AM Eastern
Boca Raton, Fla. - Office Depot reported its 2011 yearly and fourth quarter results, ended Dec. 31.

For the year the company generated net earnings of $95.9 million on sales of $11.5 billion in sales. Sales were down from the $11.6 billion reported in 2010, but net income rose from the $46.2 million loss reported for 2011.

For the quarter Office Depot had net earnings of $20.3 million on sales of $3 billion. During the same period in 2010 the office supply retailer had similar sales, but posted a loss of $99.9 million.

The company did have an extra week in its fiscal year for 2011, which impacted the bottom line, the company said.

"Fourth-quarter 2011 results were encouraging despite a slow economic recovery in the U.S. and increasing business pressures across Europe," said Neil Austrian, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Office Depot. "I'm pleased with both the traction we're getting in improving our North American businesses and the restructuring actions being taken in the International Division. I believe that our results are a testament to our improving execution across the enterprise and our focus on fewer initiatives."

Office Depot's North American retail division had sales of $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter, flat compared to the prior year. The extra week in the fiscal year added about $78 million to the fourth quarter sales figure, the company said. Comparable store sales were down 5 percent.

Office Depot said the fourth quarter sales and comp-store decline was due to the decision to be less promotional during the holiday period to deliver better profitability.

Computer and related product sales were a huge drag on the company offsetting strong sales in tablets. The company said that when computer sales are excluded comp-store sales are positive.
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