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Higher Earnings, Sales For Home Depot

Atlanta — The Home Depot reported first-quarter net earnings of $1.5 billion, compared with net earnings of $1.2 billion reported for the same period in fiscal 2005, a 22.8 percent increase for the quarter, ended April 30.

Sales for the first quarter totaled $21.5 billion, a 13.1 percent increase from last year’s first quarter.

The quarter marked the first time since the acquisition of Hughes Supply, which began March 30, that Home Depot included its financial information in its report. The chain now provides financial information for its two business segments, Home Depot Retail and Home Depot Supply.

For Home Depot Retail sales were $19.4 billion in the first quarter, compared with $18.3 billion the same time last year, a 5.7 percent increase. Operating profit was $2.3 billion vs. $1.9 billion last year, a 15.3 percent gain.

The Hughes Supply acquisition has more than doubled the size of Home Depot Supply. That group now has more than 20,000 associates operating in more than 900 locations nationwide and in Canada, with projected fiscal 2006 sales approaching $12 billion, the company said.

Home Depot also reported that the average sales ticket across all merchandise in the first quarter increased by 4.3 percent to $60.75. The chain also reported that an unnamed independent third party said its market share in appliances is 9.9 percent, up 140 basis points on a 12-month rolling basis.

At the end of the first quarter, Home Depot said it operated a total of 2,051 retail stores, which included 1,807 stores in the United States (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands), 141 stores in Canada and 56 stores in Mexico. The chain said it also operates 34 EXPO Design Centers, 11 Home Depot Landscape Supply stores and two Home Depot Floor Stores.