Weak same-store sales affect Staples Q1 profit

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Staples was hurt by a stronger dollar and weak same-store sales in North America and Europe. 

The office products company reported that its first-quarter profit for the period ended May 4 was $169.9 million, down from $187.1 million in the year-ago period. Its results missed Wall Street forecasts.

Total sales fell 3.5% to $5.81 billion, also falling short of estimates. In North America, same-store sales were down 2% on weak demand for computers, software and technology accessories.

“We’re gaining momentum in many parts of our business,” said chairman and CEO Ron Sargent. “We’re driving growth online and in categories beyond core office supplies, and we look forward to building on our progress throughout 2013.”

Online sales from Staples.com posted a strong quarter, recording sales growth of 3% amid new product offerings. Staples said it has added more than 90,000 new items on its website throughout the last year.