FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–Staples Inc. reported lower quarterly profit, as declining sales in the United States were slightly offset by gains in international markets and its delivery business.
Staples’ quarterly sales grew 1 percent to $5.3 billion, while its net income of $333 million declined slightly from $336 million for the same period last year. Quarterly comparable-store sales at the home office superstore chain decreased 6 percent in North American retail, and decreased 1 percent in Europe versus last year, Staples said.
For the fiscal year ended Feb. 2, Staples’ sales reached $19.4 billion, a 7 percent increase compared with 2006. Full-year North American retail sales rose 1 percent, while North American delivery revenues increased 12 percent, the company stated. International sales rose 16 percent in U.S. dollars and grew 7 percent in local currency. Net income increased to $996 million, from $974 million last year.
Comp-store sales for the full year decreased 3 percent in North American retail and increased 2 percent in Europe versus last year, the retailer said.
Staples revised its sales and earnings outlook slightly for the remainder of 2008, citing lingering economic woes. But Staples also said it was increasing its dividend to shareholders.