The Home Depot(R), a leading home improvement and appliance retailer, has reported record third quarter net earnings of U.S. $1.15 billion ($0.50 per diluted share) for fiscal 2003, compared with net earnings of $940 million ($0.40 per diluted share) in the third quarter of fiscal 2002.
Sales for the quarter increased 14.7 percent to $16.6 billion compared with the third quarter of fiscal 2002. Comparable store sales increased 7.8 percent -- the company's best quarterly comp performance since the fourth quarter of 1999, the retailer said.
The Home Depot reiterated its annual sales growth guidance of 9 to 12 percent and raised its full year earnings per share growth guidance to 15 to 17 percent for the 2003 fiscal year.
"Home Depot grew its share of the home improvement industry this quarter, as our sales increased by $2.1 billion, more than any other home improvement retailer," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president, and CEO of The Home Depot.
"We saw strength across the country and across the majority of our selling departments. In some of our most competitive markets we posted double-digit comps driven by growth in the number of customer transactions and the amount of the average ticket," he added.
Customer transactions grew to 313 million for the quarter, up 9.4 percent from the third quarter last year, the retailer said.
The average ticket grew 4.9 percent to $52.10 from one year ago, the highest average ticket in the company's history, it said. Average ticket increased across the store in categories including lumber, appliances, outdoor power equipment, and building materials. According to The Stevenson Company, The Home Depot sequentially increased its core appliance share more than any other top competitor in the quarter.
During the quarter, The Home Depot added 36 new stores. At the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2003, the company operated a total of 1,643 stores, including 1,456 Home Depot stores in the U.S., 99 Home Depot stores in Canada, and 17 Home Depot stores in Mexico. The company also operates 54 EXPO Design Centers, five HD Supply stores, 10 HD Landscape Supply stores, and two Home Depot Floor Stores.
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