Staples reports 3Q income growth

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Staples announced that company sales of $6.5 billion for the third quarter of 2010 increased slightly compared with the third quarter of 2009. Net income for the third quarter of 2010 increased 7% year-over-year to $289 million, and diluted earnings per share, on a GAAP basis, increased 8% to 40 cents from the 37 cents achieved in the third quarter of 2009.

“Our growth initiatives in North America continue to gain traction, and we’re making great progress improving the profitability of our International business,” said Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and chief executive officer. “Our strong financial performance reflects solid execution as we invest to drive long term growth.”

North American retail sales for the third quarter of 2010 were $2.6 billion, an increase of 1%  in U.S. dollars and flat in local currency compared with the third quarter of 2009. Comparable-store sales for the third quarter of 2010 declined 1% versus the third quarter of 2009. International sales for the third quarter of 2010 were $1.4 billion, a decrease of 4% in U.S. dollars and one percent in local currency compared to the third quarter of 2009.

For the fourth quarter of 2010, the company expects sales to increase in the low single-digits compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. The company expects to achieve diluted earnings per share, on a GAAP basis, in the range of 38 cents to 40 cents for the fourth quarter of 2010.

For the full year 2010, the company expects total company sales to increase in the low single-digits compared to the full year 2009. The company expects to achieve diluted earnings per share, on a GAAP basis, in the range of $1.22 to $1.24 for the full year 2010.