Office Depot swings to profit in Q3

Boca Raton, Fla. Office Depot reported Wednesday that it swung to a third-quarter profit of $54 million, compared with a loss of $413 million in the year-ago period.

Sales for the quarter ended Sept. 25 decreased 4% to $2.9 billion.

The office supply retailer reduced its operating expenses for the quarter by 8%.

“We are pleased with our strong cash flow performance in the third quarter which was driven by both earnings and good working capital management,” said Mike Newman, Office Depot’s CFO. “We have been executing very well across the entire enterprise as we focus on returning to sales growth and delivering improved profit as we go forward.”

By division, revenue for the North American Retail Division in the third quarter dipped 1% to $1.3 billion. Same-store sales in the United States and Canada were flat.

International division revenue decreased 10% to $778 million.

During the quarter, Office Depot closed five stores and opened three new stores, bringing the total store count in North America to 1,150.

On Oct. 25, Office Depot announced that chairman and CEO Steve Odland resigned effective Nov. 1. Neil R. Austrian, lead director, will serve as interim chairman and CEO, while the board conducts a search for a permanent replacement, and Odland will remain as a consultant through Dec. 31.

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