Total sales for Delray Beach, FL-based Office Depot increased 3%, to $3.8 billion, for the first quarter ended April 1. Sales in North America were up 6%, and North American Retail Division comparable store sales increased 3%.
Net earnings for the quarter were $130 million, compared to $115 million in the same quarter last year. Gross margin in the North American Retail Division increased during the quarter while the North American Business Solutions Division declined slightly. The International Division posted a slight increase in gross margin over last year.
First-quarter sales for Office Depot’s North American Business Solutions Division, which includes catalogs, increased by 8%, to $1.13 billion, compared to the first quarter last year. The company’s direct business successfully completed the catalog migration process from Viking to Office Depot.
First-quarter sales in the North American Retail Division increased 5%, to $1.79 billion, compared to the same period last year. Comparable store sales in the 966 stores in the U.S. and Canada that have been open for more than one year increased 3% in the first quarter. Operating profit for the quarter was $192 million, compared to $165 million in the first quarter last year. “We are pleased with our overall performance in the first quarter,” CEO Steve Odland said in a statement. Odland said the North American Business Solutions Division recorded its first sales increase in eight quarters.