Staples Reports Q1 Financials

Find Out Their Total Sales

On a conference call yesterday, Staples, Inc. chief executive Ron Sargent reported the company "achieved high single-digit growth in promotional products" sales in the first quarter of 2012, continuing a recent trend of positive momentum in the category. In its overall earnings statement, Staples, Inc., the parent company of Counselor Top 40 distributor Staples Promotional Products (asi/120601), listed total sales in Q1 of $6.1 billion, a year-over-year decrease of 1% in U.S. dollars.

Sales were pushed lower, executives said, by weak international performance, an extension of the company's recent struggles abroad. To counter the losses and boost profitability, Staples announced cuts of roughly 300 jobs in Europe and Australia as well as 200 jobs in the U.S. and Canada. "In North America, we continue to build momentum in categories beyond office supplies, while trends in our international business remain soft," Sargent said. "Despite strong performance in North America, we recognize the need to become more nimble and efficient here."

For the quarter ended April 28, Staples' North American retail sales were similar to a year earlier, reaching $2.32 billion as same-store sales were flat. Sales in the North American delivery division, though, rose 1.7% to $2.56 billion. The company's international operations posted an 8% decline in revenues to $1.23 billion, with same-store sales dropping 6% in Europe alone.

According to Sargent, Staples, Inc. has not changed its 2012 outlook, forecasting full-year sales to increase in the low single-digits. Counselor estimates that Staples Promotional Products, which ranks as the largest distributor in the industry, had 2011 North American ad specialty sales of nearly $390 million, a year-over-year gain of 7%.