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Office Depot quarterly earnings fall


DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot today announced that total sales for the second quarter ended June 30 grew 4% to $3.6 billion compared to the second quarter of 2006. However, the company reported that sales growth in North America was flat in the second quarter, down from 3% in the first quarter, citing a the macro economic conditions in the U.S. North American Retail sales grew 1% with comparable-store sales down 5% for the quarter.

Net earnings for the quarter on a GAAP basis were $109 million compared to $118 million in the same quarter of the prior year. GAAP earnings per share on a diluted basis were 40 cents in the second quarter of 2007 versus 41 cents in the same period a year ago.

"While we are frustrated that we weren't able to grow earnings at the same rate as in the previous two years, we are pleased that in this challenging sales environment we delivered earnings per share consistent with the prior year and were able to invest in our global business for the future. In North America we maintained our focus on pursuing only those sales which would yield profitable growth. This approach allowed us to somewhat mitigate the effects of a softening economy in North America while continuing to position us for margin expansion when economic conditions improve. We remain positive on the long term growth and margin expansion opportunities for Office Depot," said Steve Odland, Office Depot's chairman and ceo.

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