Staples Q2 N.A. Sales Rise 11%

By Jeff Malester On Sep 1 2003 - 6:00am




Driven by strong execution on many levels, including a sustained focus on customer service and improved in-stock levels, fiscal second quarter North American retail sales at Staples increased 11 percent, climbing to $1.6 billion, up from $1.5 billion in the year-ago period.

North American retail comp sales in the second quarter increased 6 percent, with strong performance across all categories.

Income for the North American retail segment at the office-products company rose to $66.9 million in the second quarter, ended August 2, up from $45.8 million in the same three months in 2002.

Staples European retail segment posted a 4 percent increase in comp sales in the second quarter, year-on-year, with total sales for European operations hitting $356.8 million, up from $189.6 million. European segment income reached $4.9 million in the second quarter, compared with a loss of $6 million in the same three months in 2002.

For the half, North American retail sales hit $3.5 billion, up from $3.2 billion in the year-ago period. Income at North American retail for the six months reached $142.6 million, compared with $105 million in the same period last year.

Total company sales in the second quarter grew to $2.9 billion, an 18 percent increase over the $2.4 billion registered year over year. Staples said demand from small businesses boosted sales.

Net income climbed 47 percent in the second quarter, to $87.8 million, up from $59.6 million year-on-year, while operating margin improved across the board. Total company operating margin was 5.03 percent, exceeding the 4.92 percent second quarter historical high achieved in 1999.

For the six months, Staples company sales hit $6 billion, up from $5.2 billion in the same period in 2002. Net income for the six months reached $112.5 million, down from $153.4 million in the first six months a year earlier.

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