Staples second-quarter net income up

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Staples reported $5.8 billion in total sales in the second quarter, a 5.2% increase compared with the same period of last year. Second-quarter net income for the Framingham, Mass.-based office-supply retailer increased 36% year-over-year to $176 million. Operating expenses grew 8.3% to $1.3 billion compared with the previous year.

North American retail sales in Q2 were $2 billion, up 1.7% compared with last year. Second-quarter comparable store sales were flat year-over-year, with a 1% drop in customer traffic offset by a 1% increase in average order size.

North American delivery sales in the second quarter were $2.4 billion, an increase of 3.1% compared with the second quarter of 2010. International sales in the second quarter were $1.3 billion, an increase of 15.2% compared with the second quarter of last year.

Ronald Sargent, chairman and CEO of Staples, said in an earnings statement that the company “delivered better-than-expected earnings and cash flows” during the quarter.

In Q1, Staples reported a sales increase of 2% compared with the first quarter of last year to $6.2 billion. Net income in Q1 increased 5% year-over-year to $198 million. Operating expenses were flat at $1.29 billion.

Staples saw a difficult fiscal 2010 with sales increasing only 1% year-over-year to $24.5 billion. Net income for the company grew 19% to $882 million, but inclement weather in Q4 forced Staples to lose 600 days to store closures. The company estimates it lost $70 million as a result. 

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