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Majaps Help Home Depot Boost Sales 16.2%

Atlanta — Strong double-digit comp-store sales performance in major appliances helped Home Depot register a 16.2 percent fiscal first quarter overall sales increase. Sales in the period reached $17.6 billion, up from $15.1 billion in the same three months last year.

Comp-store sales climbed 7.7 percent, the highest first quarter comps in five years, said the retailer.

Home Depot reported record first quarter net income of $1.1 billion, up 21.1 percent from the $907 million recorded a year ago.

Adding to first quarter health of comp-store sales figures, majaps reported increases in both unit sales and average ticket, while the home improvement retailer boasted about the speed of increased market share for this category.

Overall average sales ticket in the first three months, ended May 2, reached $55.11, a 7.4 percent increase or $3.82. The total was a new record, said the company, which reported ticket increases in every category.

Home Depot also reported the third quarter of sequential improvement in sales per square foot, which rose 3.9 percent to $376.80 in the first three months.

During the first quarter, the retailer opened 33 new stores in North America and Mexico, bringing its total store count to 1,740.

The retailer ended the first quarter with $38 billion in total assets, including $4.3 billion in cash. In the past two years, the company has repurchased 141.3 million of its shares, totaling about $4.5 billion, under a $5 billion share repurchase program.

Looking ahead, Home Depot is anticipating sales growth of 10 percent to 12 percent for its fiscal year ending in January of 2005.