Appliance retailer The Home Depot(R) reported record third quarter fiscal 2004 net earnings of U.S. $1.3 billion, or $0.60 per diluted share, up 20 percent compared to $0.50 per diluted share for the third quarter fiscal 2003.
Sales for the period increased $2.2 billion, or 13.1 percent, to $18.8 billion. Comparable store sales rose 4.5 percent. Based on the performance, the company announced that it is raising its fiscal 2004 earnings per share growth guidance from 14 to 17 percent to 19 to 20 percent.
"Our results reflect our breadth of merchandise, the benefits of our store modernization program and support from our marketing initiatives," said John Costello, executive vice president of Merchandising and Marketing, The Home Depot. "This is evidenced by a 6.6 percent increase in our average ticket, which reached $55.53, a company record. We experienced average ticket growth across the store because of an enriched merchandising mix of products."
The retailer also reported a record share in core appliances, up 40 percent over the same period in 2003, and the 10th consecutive quarterly gain, supported by the rollout of GE Adora, the new Hotpoint Metallic Series, and the Americana line.
Canada and Mexico continue to represent significant growth opportunities for The Home Depot. "Our Mexico business is strong, with double-digit comp growth," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president & CEO, The Home Depot. "The integration and re-branding of the Home Mart stores have gone extremely well. Today, we have 10 stores in Mexico City and 42 stores throughout the country. Housing is a clear priority in Mexico, and based upon my recent trip there, I am confident that we are well positioned in this $16 billion market."
In September, The Home Depot marked its inaugural Week of Service with associate volunteers donating more than 260,000 hours, touching more than 1,200 communities and 1 million people throughout North America and China.
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