Staples Q2 Retail Sales Rise 11% - Twice

Staples Q2 Retail Sales Rise 11%

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Framingham, Mass. - Increases in Staples’ North American retail sales and net income for its second fiscal quarter were driven by strong execution on many levels, including a sustained focus on customer service and improved in-stock levels, the company said.

Fiscal second quarter North American retail sales increased 11 percent, climbing to $1.6 billion, up from $1.5 billion in the year-ago period. Income for the North American retail segment at the office-products company rose to $66.9 million in the second quarter, ended Aug. 2, up from $45.8 million in the same three months in 2002.

North American retail comparable store sales in the second quarter increased 6 percent, with strong performance across all categories.

Staples European retail segment posted a 4 percent increase in comparable store sales in the second quarter, year-on-year, with total sales for European operations hitting $356.8 million, up from $189.6 million. European segment income reached $4.9 million in the second quarter, compared with a loss of $6 million in the same three months in 2002.

For the six months, North American retail sales hit $3.5 billion, up from $3.2 billion in the prior-year period. Income at North American retail for the six months reached $142.6 million, compared with $105 million in the same six months a year ago.

Total company sales in the second quarter grew to $2.9 billion, an 18 percent increase over the $2.4 billion registered year over year.

Net income climbed to $87.8 million, up from $59.6 million year-on-year, while operating margin improved across the board. Total company operating margin was 5.03 percent, exceeding the 4.92 percent second quarter historical high achieved in 1999.

For the six months, Staples company sales hit $6 billion, up from $5.2 billion in the same period in 2002. Net income for the six months reached $112.5 million, down from $153.4 million in the first six months a year earlier. Pro forma net income for the first half hit $174.3 million, compared with a pro forma $153.4 million in the same period a year earlier.

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