FINANCE

Home Depot sales, earnings rise

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – The Home Depot reported sales of $19.1 billion during first quarter fiscal 2013, a 7% increase from $17.8 billion in the same quarter of 2012. Home Depot credited $574 million of this $1.3 billion increase to the addition of an extra week to the first quarter of this year. Net earnings rose 20%, from $1 billion to $1.2 billion.

Home Depot chairman and CEO Frank Blake said that the company had a strong quarter despite experiencing less favorable weather than last year. “We continue to see benefit from a recovering housing market that drove a stronger-than-expected start to the year for our business,” said Blake.

At the end of the first quarter, Home Depot operated a total of 2,257 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.

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FINANCE

TJX net sales increase

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. – The TJX Companies, Inc. reported increased net sales during first quarter fiscal 2014. Revenue rose almost 7% from the same quarter a year earlier to about $6.2 billion, while same store sales grew 2% on top of an 8% increase from last year. Net earnings totaled $453 million.

CEO Carol Meyrowitz said that a flexible business model allowed TJX to have a profitable quarter despite adverse weather conditions. “Flowing the right merchandise at the right time continued to be key to strong merchandise margins,” she said.

Meyrowitz also said TJX is off to a strong start in the second quarter and is on its way to becoming as $40 billion company.

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Best Buy Q1 impacted by store closures, Super Bowl

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Store closures and a shift in this year’s Super Bowl affected Best Buy’s results for the 13-week period ended May 4.

The company reported a net loss of almost 10% for first quarter fiscal 2014, seeing its revenue drop from roughly $10.34 billion the prior year to $9.38 billion. Increased price competition and the closure of 49 large-format stores contributed to the electronics retailer’s decline in revenue. A shift in the Super Bowl, which typically drives TV sales, to the prior quarter and reduced non-core sales also impacted revenue.

Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said that the retailer is already seeing benefits from its “Renew Blue” restructuring program, which eliminated $175 million during the most recent quarter in annualized costs through efficiency improvements and removal of management layers. Renew Blue has reduced annualized costs by a total of $350 million since its implementation last year, and Joly expects the savings to continue.

“Looking ahead, we remain focused on making progress on our Renew Blue priorities announced last November and reiterated in March,” said Joly. “During the second quarter, we will, in particular, complete the deployment of the Samsung Experience Shops and make significant progress in our efforts to optimize the allocation of our retail floor space to more attractive product categories, so as to increase revenue and operating profit per square foot.”

The company fared better online. It reported domestic online revenue of $498 million, a 7% increase from last year. Excluding the additional week last year, comparable online sales increased 16.3% due to increased traffic and higher conversion across multiple online platforms.

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