Financial Reports: Staples, Talbots, Brookstone

Staples Profit Jumps

Second-quarter sales for Framingham, MA-based Staples grew 18%, to $2.87 billion from $2.43 billion last year. Sales at the office supplier’s North American Delivery business, which includes the Quill and Medical Arts Press catalogs and, rose 14%, to $893.0 million from $780.7 million last year. North American comparable store sales increased 6%. As for income, Staples’ North American Delivery business grew its bottom line 27%, earning $72.5 million compared with $57.1 million last year. Income for the entire Staples business jumped to $87.8 million from $59.6 million last year.

Catalog Sales Rise at Talbots Second-quarter catalog sales at apparel marketer The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) increased 6%, to $50.2 million for the three months ended Aug. 2. Total net sales for the Hingham, MA-based cataloger/retailer increased 5%, to $389.6 million from $370.4 million for the second quarter of last year. Retail sales rose 5% as well, to $339.4 million. Comparable store sales dipped 2%, which was less of a decline than expected. Net income declined 7%, to $18.5 million from $20.0 million a year ago.

Catalog Sales Climb at Brookstone on Circ Hike Second-quarter direct marketing sales increased 11% at gadgets and tools marketer Brookstone (NasdaqNM: BKST). That’s the good news. But the Nashua, NH-based company to bump had to increase circulation 13% to get it. Direct marketing sales, which includes the Brookstone, Gardeners Eden, and Hard-to-Find Tools catalogs were $14.0 million for the three months ended Aug. 2. Total sales increased 13%, to $80.5 million from $71.2 million for the second quarter of last year. Same-store sales climbed 8%. For the quarter, Brookstone posted a loss of $2.3 million, which included $1.1 million for the settlement of certain outstanding legal matters, including an overtime-compensation class-action lawsuit in California. For the second quarter of 2002, the company had lost $2.2 million.

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