Office Depot Boosts Sales, Buys South Korean Firm

Office Depot Inc.'s sales increased 7 percent for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, totaling $3.7 billion. The Delray Beach, FL, multichannel marketer of office products also said yesterday that it acquired a controlling interest in Best Office, a South Korean office supply company.

Sales in the North American Retail Division increased 15 percent, and comparable-store sales in the United States and Canada rose 5 percent. The North American Business Solutions Division generated an 11 percent increase in sales, but international sales decreased 8 percent. Net earnings for the period totaled $106 million compared with $52 million in the previous year.

Sales for the year totaled $14.3 billion, a 5 percent increase over the prior year. Same-store sales in the North American Retail Division rose 3 percent for the year. Net earnings totaled $274 million.

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