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Office Depot Acquires Korea's Best Office, Reports 2005 Results
Feb 17, 2006
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Global office products retailer Office Depot this week:

  • acquired South Korea's Best Office
  • reported results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2005
  • appointed a new head of its business in Europe

    Best Office Acquired

    Office Depot acquired controlling interest in Best Office Co., Ltd., a leading office supply retailer in South Korea. Best Office, based in Seoul, has annual revenues of more than U.S. $44 million and operates more than 70 franchised and company-owned retail stores as well as a delivery sales business.

    "This transaction strengthens Office Depot's global presence in a rapidly growing area of the world," said Steve Odland, chairman and CEO of Office Depot.

    Q4 Results

    Office Depot, based in Delray Beach, Florida, U.S., has approximately 1,047 stores in North America and operates in 22 countries. The company said total sales grew 7 percent in the fourth quarter to U.S., to $3.7 billion, compared to the fourth quarter of 2004. Excluding the 53rd week of 2005, sales for the quarter increased 2 percent from the same period last year.

    Net earnings for the quarter were $106 million compared to $52 million in the same quarter of the prior year, and diluted earnings per share were $0.34 in the fourth quarter of 2005 versus $0.17 in the same period a year ago. Operating profit for the quarter was $137 million, compared to $103 million in the fourth quarter of the prior year.

    Full Year Results

    For the year, sales were $14.3 billion, an increase of 5 percent from the prior year. Excluding the 53rd week, sales increased 4 percent compared to 2004.

    Net earnings for 2005 were $274 million ($0.87 per share on a fully diluted basis). Without charges and the benefits of a 53rd week of sales, full year net earnings were $444 million, or $1.41 per share on a non-GAAP basis, for an increase of 19 percent.

    Operating profit in 2005 was $348 million on an operating margin of 2.4 percent as compared to an operating profit of $530 million in 2004 on an operating margin of 3.9 percent.

    Collin Appointed Europe Head

    Office Depot also announced the appointment of Dirk Collin to executive vice president and managing director, Europe. In this position, he has general management accountability for all operations in Europe.

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