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Staples Store Segment Sales Climb

8/16/2005 12:37:00 PM Eastern

Framingham, Mass. — Sales at Staples’ North American retail stores jumped 9 percent in the company’s fiscal second quarter, hitting $1.9 billion, up from a year-ago $1.7 billion. Comp-store sales rose 3 percent.

North American retail unit income increased to $133.6 million from a year-earlier $96.2 million.

The company’s North American delivery business continued to play the major role in elevating consolidated sales and earnings. Delivery sales in North America grew 17 percent, hitting $1.1 billion, up from a year-ago $979.5 million. Delivery income for the period ended July 30 rose to $111.4 million, from $88.3 million in the second three months last year.

The delivery business attributes much of its growth to an additional seven stores opened in the Chicago market, where the total now is 15. Staples entry into this Midwestern city has “continued to exceed expectations,” said the company. Staples business delivery has nearly doubled sales in the market since the retail launch. The retailer will open a new fulfillment center near Chicago next year.

Consolidated Staples sales for the second quarter increased 12 percent to $3.5 billion from a year-ago $3.1 billion. Net income moved up 20 percent, reaching $147.2 million in the second quarter, compared with $122.5 million year-on-year.

“Our team delivered another strong quarter of profitable growth through our commitment to making it easy for our customers,” said Ron Sargent, chairman/CEO. “We continue to drive sustainable market-share gains through consistent execution and focus on our growth initiatives.”

Staples opened 14 new stores and closed one U.S. location during the second three months. It currently operates 1,716 stores worldwide.

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