Staples, Inc announced that for fiscal year 2006, sales reached U.S. $18.2 billion, a 13 percent increase compared to 2005. Full year North American retail sales rose 10 percent and North American delivery revenues increased 19 percent. In 2006, e-commerce sales of $4.9 billion increased 28 percent versus last year. International sales rose 10 percent in local currency or 13 percent in U.S. dollars. The company reported 2006 net income of $974 million, a 24-percent increase versus last year. Earnings per share of $1.32, on a diluted basis, rose 27 percent versus 2005. Adjusted for the impact of favorable tax events and the correction for prior years’ stock-based compensation reported in the third quarter, earnings per share were $1.28. Both North American retail and European comparable store sales, calculated on a 52 week basis, increased three percent for the year. The company generated $637 million in free cash flow after $528 million in capital expenditures.
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