Boca Raton, Fla. -- Office products retailer Office Depot reported a worse-than-expected first quarter net loss of $17 million, compared with net earnings of $41 million a year earlier, hurt by lower sales and costs related to its pending merger with OfficeMax. The company also said it would hold a special meeting with investors to seek approval for the merger.
Total sales decreased 5% to $2.72 billion. North American retail stores sales were down 6% to $1.1 billion, while same-store sales decreased 5%. International revenue decreased 8% to $759 million.
“Although our first quarter results were heavily impacted by the holiday timing, we saw a modest improvement in trends late in the period, which gives us confidence going into the second quarter and, ultimately, in achieving our full-year targets,” said Neil Austrian, chairman and CEO of Office Depot. “I’m also very pleased with the progress we have made on the merger over the past two months, especially the selection of Mike Newman, CFO of Office Depot, and Bruce Besanko, CFO of OfficeMax, to lead the integration efforts for the two companies.”
The Office Depot-OfficeMax merger, an estimated $1.2 billion deal, is awaiting approval by the Federal Trade Commission.