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Home Depot Reports Sales, Earnings Gains

Atlanta — In-store enhancements and expansions of its core major appliance business helped propel The Home Depot’s sales and earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year.

Net earnings for the home improvement chain rose 9.4 percent to $1 billion for the three months ended Jan. 30, on sales of $16.8 billion. Total sales grew 11.2 percent and comp-store sales gained 4.6 percent.

For the full year, net earnings rose 16.3 percent to a record $5 billion. Total sales spiked 12.8 percent to $73.1 billion, and same-store sales grew 5.4 percent.

CEO Bob Nardelli attributed the gains to “operational excellence” and enhancements of such core categories as major appliances, where the company added new Maytag and Hotpoint branded models and introduced an exclusive GE Adora line last year.

Customers also responded to an improved shopping experience, brought about by the chain’s store modernization program, said executive VP John Costello.

The moves helped increase Home Depot’s major appliance market share from 6.2 percent, to 8.1 percent, the company said, which it described as the largest share gain among leading white-goods dealers last year.

Archrival Lowe’s financial report is scheduled to be released tomorrow.