Bottom Line Way Up At Staples

Third-quarter sales for catalog/retailer Staples fell 6%, to $6.5 billion for the three months ended Oct. 31. But net income soared 72%, to $269 million, up from $157 million for the same period last year.

Sales from its North American Delivery Business–which includes the Staples and Quill catalogs and online businesses as well as the Staples contract delivery business—fell 11%, to $2.5 billion.

Staples’ North American retail sales increased 1%, to $2.6 billion, while same-store sales slipped 8%. Total international sales slipped 10%, to $1.4 billion.

Chairman/CEO Ron Sargent said: “With North American Retail growing again, improving trends in our catalog businesses, solid profitability in our European office products portfolio, and record free cash flow, we’re increasingly optimistic about the future.”