Q3 Income, Sales Rise at Staples

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Staples reported an increase in third-quarter net income and total sales yesterday, which it attributed to factors including strong back-to-school sales, an improved product mix and cost cutting.

Net income for the quarter, which ended Nov. 1, was $166 million, a 29 percent increase from the same period in 2002. Total sales were $3.5 billion, up 13 percent.

North American retail sales were $2.12 billion while direct sales brought in $971.2 million. European sales were $393.3 million. North American retail sales increased 4 percent while North American direct sales grew 7 percent.

In other news:

· United Retail Group Inc., Rochelle Park, NJ, said that in the third quarter ended Nov. 1, total sales were $88.5 million compared with $97 million in the year-ago quarter. Comparable-store sales fell 7 percent. The company suffered a net loss of $6.2 million in the quarter compared with a net loss of $5.2 million in the year-ago period.


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