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Home Depot Sales Jump 13.1% In. Fiscal Q3

Atlanta — Growing services and a successful professional supply business lifted fiscal third-quarter sales 13.1 percent at The Home Depot, rising to $18.8 billion from a year-ago $16.6 billion. Comp-store sale increased 4.5 percent.

The home improvement products chain recorded net income of $1.3 billion, a 14.8 percent rise over the $1.1 billion reported in the same three months in 2003.

“Our business strategy of enhancing the core, extending the business and expanding our markets is clearly driving consistent, profitable sales growth,” said Bob Nardelli, chairman/CEO.

Home Depot recorded a 6.6 percent increase in its average sales ticket in the third quarter, ended Oct. 31, rising to $55.53 from a year-earlier $51.10. For the nine months, the average sales ticket climbed 7.4 percent to $55.11 from $51.30 year-on-year. The retailer attributed the rise in average sales ticket to an enriched merchandising mix of products.

Home Depot continued to enjoy healthy increases in its major appliance business, reporting a record share in majaps in the third quarter, up 40 percent over the same three months in 2003, and the 10th consecutive quarterly gain. Specifically, the retailer cited benefits from the rollout of GE Adora, its new Hotpoint Metallic series and its Americana line.

During the third quarter, Home Depot opened 38 new stores, including two new urban format stores, one in New York City and another in West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Home Depot said it continued to extend its core business in the third quarter, growing services revenue by 26 percent to $957 million. The retailer offered 23 national installation programs, with plans for more.

Capital expenditures in the third quarter increased 48.3 percent to $1.2 billion from 837 million. For the nine months, this rose 10.8 percent to $2.8 billion from $2.5 billion.

For the nine months, sales increased 13.1 percent to $56.3 billion, compared with $49.7 billion in the same period last year. Net earnings jumped 18.1 percent in the nine months, coming in at $4 billion, up from a year-ago $3.4 billion