Staples Posts Double-Digit Profit Increase

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Framingham, Mass. - Staples fiscal first quarter net income jumped 32 percent year over year.

Net income for the quarter ended May 1 was $189 million up from the prior year's $143 million.

Total company sales for the quarter were up 4 percent to $6.1 billion compared to last year's $5.8 billion.

"Our first quarter performance was strong across the board," said Ron Sargent, Staples' chairman/CEO. "With sales and profit improvement in all three of our businesses, the year is off to a good start."

North American retail sales for the first quarter were $2.3 billion, an increase of 6 percent in U.S. dollars, and 2 percent in local currency compared to the first quarter of 2009.

First quarter 2010 comparable store sales increased 1 percent year on year reflecting increased customer traffic, partially offset by lower average order size, the company said.

Operating income rate increased 30 basis points to 7.64 percent compared to the first quarter of 2009. This improvement primarily reflects reduced marketing and depreciation expense, partially offset by a higher mix of low margin technology products, Staples said.

The chain reported that North American retail opened 20 stores and closed three stores, ending the first quarter of 2010 with 1,888 stores in North America.

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