Staples' Income Rises

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Staples Inc., Framingham, MA, yesterday reported net income of $94 million for the quarter ended May 4, or 20 cents per share on a diluted basis.


Excluding a one-time tax benefit recorded in the first quarter related to the Q4 2000 asset impairment charge for Staples Communications, the company achieved net income of $65 million, or 14 cents per share. This is a 75 percent increase over earnings per share of 8 cents for first-quarter 2001.


Sales totaled $2.74 billion, up 3 percent from $2.67 billion in the same period last year.


In the North American retail business, sales in the first quarter were $1.73 billion, up 1 percent. Business unit income reached $59 million, an increase of 53 percent.


Staples North American Delivery reported first-quarter sales of $812 million, up 9 percent from the first quarter of last year. Business unit income totaled $48 million, a 23 percent increase. Contract account acquisition achieved double-digit sales growth and added 3,000 accounts in the first quarter while customer retention rates and profitability levels continued to rise.


The company reported revenue of $206 million in its European operations, a 7 percent increase from the prior year's first quarter. Comparable sales increased 6 percent, and business unit income improved 53 percent to a loss of $1.6 million compared with the first quarter of 2001.


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