Financial Reports: Office Depot, Zones, J. Jill

2Q Growth for Office Depot

Although second-quarter catalog sales at Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) declined, the Delray Beach, FL-based cataloger/retailer nonetheless posted a 7% rise in overall revenue. For the three months ended June 28, the company, which includes cataloger Viking Office Products, had sales of $2.82 billion. Net income grew nearly 5%, to $59.6 million from $56.9 million for the second quarter of 2002.

Zones Posts 2Q Loss Top-line growth wasn’t enough to stave off the red ink at computer reseller Zones (Nasdaq: ZONS). For the three months ended June 30, the Redmond, WA-based cataloger lost $125,000 on sales of $119.1 million. Lawyer fees associated with the company’s evaluation of a proposal to go private accounted for the loss. For the second quarter of last year, Zones had netted $373,000 on sales of $107.8 million.

Another “Volatile” Quarter for J. Jill New stores accounted for the 13% rise in second-quarter sales for J. Jill Group (Nasdaq: JILL). But second-quarter direct sales for the cataloger/retailer of women’s apparel fell to $54.5 million from $56.0 million a year ago. Total net sales for the quarter were $97.4 million, compared with $86.4 million for the second quarter of 2002. Net income dipped to $6.1 million from $6.4 million.

“Although we are pleased to have achieved bottom-line results in line with current expectations our business faces significant challenges from a top-line perspective,” president/CEO Gordon Cooke said in a statement. “Not only has our top-line performance fallen short of expectations, it continues to be highly volatile – making forecasting very difficult.”

Cooke also said that the Hingham, MA-based company was “merging” its direct and retail divisions, and he warned that it might post a loss in the third quarter.

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