Sales Up, Profits Down for Staples

Fourth-quarter sales for catalog/retailer Staples jumped 16%, to $6.2 billion for the three months ended Jan. 31. But net income plunged 14%, to $286.1 million

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–grew 43%, to $2.5 billion. But that’s including Corporate Express; sales declined 10% for the core business.

Staples’ North American retail sales decreased 14%, to $2.4 billion, while same-store sales slipped 13%. Including $886 million of Corporate Express sales, total international sales rose 62%, to $1.3 billion.

For the full year, total company sales rose 19%, to $23.1 billion. Net income decreased 19%, to $805 million.

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