REUTERS

(REUTERS)

Office Depot Sales Fall, to Shut Another 300 Stores

Industries Reuters

Office Depot, which scrapped a plan to merge with larger rival Staples Inc in May on antitrust concerns, said it would close about 300 more stores in the next three years to help cut annual costs by $250 million by the end of 2018.

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The company, which had closed 400 stores by the end of the second quarter, said its quarterly sales fell 6.5 percent to $3.22 billion, roughly in line with the average analysts' estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

It was the company's seventh straight drop in quarterly sales. Both Staples and Office Depot have been hit by competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc that have been discounting school and office supplies.

However, Office Depot said it had initiated a quarterly dividend of 2.5 cents per share and would increase its stock buyback plan to $250 million from $100 million.

Office Depot reported net income of $210 million, or 38 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 25, compared with a loss of $58 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the Boca Raton, Florida-based company earned 3 cents per share.

(Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta)