Solid Fourth-quarter Sales Spark Office Depot Inc.

officeDepotMaxAll three business units of Office Depot Inc. saw double-digit sales in the fourth-quarter of 2013, according to the company’s earnings release. And that surge helped the office supplies merchant end 2013 in the black.

Though Office Depot Inc. did not separate ecommerce or direct sales from its total sales, its divisional sales paint a picture of the company’s growth.

North American retail division sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 increased 31% to $1.4 billion compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, primarily reflecting $384 million of sales from the OfficeMax stub period. Same-store sales decreased 4% primarily due to lower average order values, and lower transaction counts resulting from decreased store traffic.

Sales for Office Depot Inc.’s business solutions division, which includes contract sales and its business in Canada, increased 54% to $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the prior year period, primarily reflecting $422 million of sales from the OfficeMax stub period.

Sales for Office Depot Inc.’s International division, which serves Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, increased 15% to $911 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 (an increase of 12% on a constant currency basis) compared to the prior year period, including $133 million of sales from the OfficeMax stub period.

Total sales for the fourth quarter of 2013 increased 33% to $3.5 billion compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Sales were $11.2 billion in the full year 2013, an increase of 5% compared to the prior year.

For the fourth quarter of 2013, Office Depot reported an operating loss of $118 million compared to operating income of $5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, and a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $144 million, or $0.34 per share, compared to a net loss of $17 million, or $0.06 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2012. The reported results include merger-related expenses, asset impairment and other charges.

For the full year 2013, Office Depot reported an operating loss of $205 million compared to an operating loss of $31 million in the full year 2012, and a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $93 million, or $0.29 per share, compared to a net loss of $110 million, or $0.39 per share in the full year 2012.

Office Depot Inc.’s quarterly and annual financial results include both Office Depot and OfficeMax, which completed its merger on Nov. 5.

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