Office Depot posts Q3 earnings

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Office Depot Inc.'s sales for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 grew 10 percent for a total of $3.9 billion. Same-store sales increased 3 percent during the same period.

The Delray Beach, FL-based Office Depot's, net earnings for the quarter were $133 million compared to a net loss of $48 million in the same quarter of the prior year. Diluted earnings per share were $0.47 in the quarter of 2006 versus a per share loss of $0.15 in the same period last year.

Third quarter sales in the company's North American Retail Division increased 8 percent for a total of $1.8 billion. Sales in the North American Business Solutions Division increased by 12 percent for a total of $1.2 billion. This increase reflects strong organic growth in the contract sales channel, which more than offset declines in the direct selling channel as the company executed brand consolidation in this division and deliberately reduced some unprofitable business.

Sales in the International Division increased 13 percent in U.S. dollars for a total of $882 million, which is attributable to organic growth and a couple of recent acquisitions.

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