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Office Depot N.A. Retail Sales Jump 8%

Delray Beach, Fla. — North American retail division sales at Office Depot climbed 8 percent, hitting $1.45 billion in the second quarter, up from $1.34 billion in the year-ago period, while comp-store sales recorded a sixth consecutive quarter of positive numbers, rising 3 percent.

Operating profit for Office Depot’s North American retail division increased 41 percent to $99.6 million in the second quarter, ended June 25, up from a year-on-year $70.6 million. Operating profit as a percentage of sales for the division moved up to 6.9 percent, compared with a year-earlier 5.3 percent. Broad-based product category gross margin improvement and continued store and warehouse operating expense management contributed to the division’s operating margin increase, said the retailer.

For the six months, Office Depot North American retail sales reached $3.15 billion, up from $2.95 billion in the first half of 2004. Operating income jumped to $229.7 in the six months, compared with a year-ago $182.2 million.

During the second quarter, Office Depot opened 17 new stores, closed one and relocated four. At the end of the three months, the office supplies retailer operated a total of 1,011 North American locations.

Consolidated Office Depot sales in the second three months increased 6 percent, reaching $3.36 billion, up from $3.16 billion in the same period the prior year. Operating profit rose 20 percent to $142.5 million, from $118.9 million, while net earnings soared 26 percent to $100.1 million, from $79.2 million.

For the first half, consolidated sales moved up to $7.1 billion, from $6.8 billion in the same time frame in 2004. Operating profit rose to $307.5 million, from $293.3 million, while net income edged upward to $215.4 million, from $194.1 million.