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Home Depot ceo: No job cuts or store closings


ATLANTA Home Depot Inc. will not be making any job cuts or close any of its core retail stores despite the housing decline, the company’s ceo told the Associated Press in an interview.

"We're making investments, notwithstanding the downturn," ceo Frank Blake said. "I think that's absolutely the right thing to do for the business. It's going to lead to long-term success."

Home Depot had announced earlier this week that it was closing its 11 Landscape Supply stores (and previously shut down a number of its Expo design centers), but Blake said there are no plans to close any of the company's more than 2,000 main retail stores.

"We're not going to shut stores to save costs," Blake said. "We don't need to."

The United States has experienced what has been called the worst housing decline in 40 years, since mortgage rates have increased at a rapid pace, and many seemingly cheap homes have gone unsold.

The company reported second quarter 2007consolidated net earnings of $1.6 billion, or 81 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.9 billion, or 90 cents per diluted share, in the same period in fiscal 2006. Sales for the second quarter totaled $22.2 billion, a 1.8% decrease from the second quarter of fiscal 2006, reflecting negative comparable-store sales of 5.2%.

During midday trading, Home Depot stocks were selling at $34.90 per share.

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