Office Depot's Q3 sales decline, profit increases

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Office Depot's sales for the third quarter of 2011 decreased 2% to $2.8 billion compared with the third quarter of 2010, the company reported on Oct. 25.

Despite the poor sales figures, the office supplies retailer reported a net earnings increase of 187.5% to $92 million compared with Q3 2010. Operating expenses increased 1.8% to $835.9 million in the third quarter of 2011.

Office Depot's North American Retail Division's Q3 2011 sales decreased 4% to $1.2 billion compared with 2010. Comparable store sales decreased 2% during the quarter. The division reported an operating profit increase of 2% to $42 million in the third quarter of 2011, compared with the same period in 2010.

The North American Business Solutions Division's Q3 sales decreased 2% to $821 million compared with the third quarter of 2010. Operating profit for the division increased 56% to $39 million compared with the same period in the prior year.

Third quarter 2011 sales for the International Division, however, increased by 1% to $783 million compared with the third quarter of 2010. Third quarter 2011 operating profit decreased 36.6% to $19 million.

“I'm pleased with the traction we're getting in our North American businesses despite a lackluster U.S. economy,” Neil Austrian, Office Depot's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

In a major restructuring that occurred in July, Office Depot named Bob Moore its EVP and CMO and appointed Kevin Peters president of North America, a new position. The retailer also combined its North American retail and business solutions divisions and split the role of EVP of e-commerce and direct marketing into two roles.

The retailer terminated Charles Brown, president of the company's international division, for having an "improper relationship" with an associate in September.

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