OfficeMax Income Hits Plus Side

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OfficeMax Inc., Cleveland, yesterday reported net income of $63.5 million for its first quarter ended April 27 compared with last year's loss of $16.6 million.

This includes the previously reported $57.5 million benefit from a cash tax refund, the majority of which was received this week.

OfficeMax's consolidated sales in the quarter totaled $1.181 billion, down from $1.194 billion in the like quarter last year. Last year's revenue included sales from 29 stores that were closed on the first day of the new fiscal year. When excluding closed stores, sales in the quarter rose 1 percent year-over-year.

For the second consecutive quarter the company improved in same-store sales, with levels climbing to even with a year ago. This is up from minus 8 percent in the third quarter of fiscal 2001 and minus 3 percent in the fourth quarter ended in January.

Also yesterday:

· J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Plano, TX, reported that for its fiscal first quarter ended April 27, net income totaled $86 million compared with $41 million a year ago. Total retail sales increased 2.7 percent to $7.73 billion from $7.52 billion a year earlier. At its Eckerd drugstores sales rose 7.6 percent to $3.72 billion, while sales at its department stores and catalog operations fell 1.4 percent to $4.01 billion. Catalog sales dropped 25 percent, which was described as "in line with projections."

· Tiffany & Co., New York, reported increased sales and earnings for the quarter ended April 30. Net sales of $347.129 million in the quarter were up 3 percent from $336.401 million the previous year. On a constant exchange rate basis that excludes effects between foreign currencies and the U.S. dollar, net sales increased 6 percent and comparable-store sales rose 1 percent. Net earnings in the quarter increased 6 percent to $32.709 million from $30.762 million the prior year. Direct marketing sales increased 9 percent to $33.821 million. Combined catalog/Internet sales rose 37 percent, and business sales declined 11 percent.

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