Retailer Staples Inc.'s third-quarter profit dipped 5%, and its North American sales at stores open for at least a year fell 3% versus a year ago, after declining 2% in the second quarter.
Net income for the three-month period ended Nov. 3 was US$274.5 million, or $0.38 per share, compared with a profit of $289.9 million, or $0.39 per share, in the same period a year ago. Sales grew 9% to $5.17 billion from $4.76 billion a year ago.
Staples' North American delivery business grew 15% in the latest quarter. International sales rose 8% in local currency and 18% measured by U.S. dollars.
For the full year, the company expects earnings growth of 15%, low double-digit sales growth overall, with flat to slightly negative same-store sales, and faster growth for its delivery and international businesses.