San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Helsinki, Finland — Nokia has announced an annual growth sales target of 15 percent for 2002, with continuing good profitability. In 2002, Nokia expects year-over-year quarterly revenue numbers to be slightly negative in the first quarter, with low double-digit revenue growth for the second quarter. This should accelerate to 25 percent to 35 percent in the fourth quarter The company estimates 420 million to 440 million mobile handsets will be sold globally in 2002, representing annual market volume growth in the area of 10 percent to 15 percent. Annual double-digit market volume growth is expected to continue from 2002 onward, said Nokia. The company now expects full-year total market volume for 2001 to be about 380 million phones. This compares with Nokia estimates of 550 million in handset sales offered about a year ago and the revised number of 390 million offered last October. It expects about 105 million to 110 million in the fourth quarter of 2001.
Wilkesboro, N.C. — Bolstered by a solid sales performance in all geographic regions and all product categories, Lowe's Companies said sales shot up by 21.1 percent during its fiscal third quarter ended Nov. 2, reaching $5.5 billion, compared with $4.5 billion in the year-ago period. Comp-store sales for the third quarter increased 4 percent. Net earnings for the third quarter increased 23.8 percent, to $250.5 million, up from $202.3 million in the same three months in 2000. Gross margin for the third quarter climbed 30 basis points to 29.2 percent. For the nine months, sales increased 18.4 percent, hitting $16.9 billion, compared with $14.2 billion in the same period last year. Comp-store sales increased 0.9 percent. Net earnings for the nine months grew 20.3 percent, to $804.9 million, up from $669 million the previous year. Lowe's said total sales for the fourth quarter ending Feb. 1, 2002 are expected to increase about 14 percent, compared with the same quarter in 2001. The retailer expects comp-store sales increases of 3 percent to 5 percent in the fourth quarter.
Framingham, Mass. — Parlaying a "successful new store format, expense containment and a more conservative real estate strategy," Staples reported an 8 percent increase in fiscal third-quarter profit, climbing to $91.3 million, compared with $84.7 million in the year-ago period. Sales in the third quarter ended Nov. 3 rose 1 percent, to $2.83 billion, compared with $2.80 billion in the same three months in 2000. Overall comp-store sales for the quarter were down 3 percent, with retail down 5 percent. Sales in Staples' North American Retail segment dropped slightly, to $1.85 billion in the third quarter, down 1 percent from the $1.88 billion recorded in the same quarter last year. Income for the North American Retail segment in the third quarter dropped to $100.5 million, down from $129.8 million in the same period last year. Staples plans to open 80 stores in the United States in 2000, down significantly from previous guidance of 100 stores.