Strong Quarter for Office Depot

Oct 18, 2006 2:54 AM  By

Third-quarter sales for Delray Beach, FL-based Office Depot increased 10%, to a record $3.9 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30. The company’s bottom-line turnaround was even more impressive: Net earnings for the quarter were $133 million compared to a net loss of $48 million in the same quarter last year.

Sales in North America were up 10%, and North American comparable store sales increased 3%. International sales increased 13%.

Sales in the North American Business Solutions Division, which includes catalogs, rose 12%, to $1.2 billion. The division’s operating profit for the third quarter was $97 million, compared with $82 million for the third quarter of 2005.

Last month the $14.4 billion Office Depot announced that it had acquired a controlling interest in AsiaEC, one of the largest dealers of office products and services in China. In late August, Office Depot announced the acquisition of Papirius, a supplier of office products and services in Eastern Europe. Based in the Czech Republic, Papirius also has operations in Lithuania, Hungary, and Slovakia. Papirius has annual revenue of more than $56 million.