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Staples, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2012 Performance

For the full year 2012, North American Stores and Online achieved sales of $11.8 billion, an increase of one percent compared to 2011. Excluding the extra week of sales in 2012, full year 2012 sales decreased one percent compared to 2011. Comparable store sales decreased two percent versus the prior year. sales grew five percent versus the prior year, and increased three percent excluding the extra week in 2012. Full year 2012 operating income rate declined 35 basis points to 8.34 percent versus 2011. In 2012, the company closed 45 stores and opened nine stores in the U.S., and opened eight stores and closed three stores in Canada ending the year with 1,886 stores in North America.

North American Commercial
  Fourth Quarter   Full Year
(dollar amounts in millions) 2012   2011   Change 2012   2011   Change
Sales $2,102 $1,962 7.2% $8,108 $7,975 1.7%
Sales excluding the 53rd week in 2012* $1,943 $1,962 (0.9%) $7,949 $7,975 (0.3%)
Operating income $195 $176 $19 $680 $661 $19
Operating income rate   9.3%   9.0%   31 basis points   8.4%   8.3%   10 basis points

*Indicates a non-GAAP measure. Refer to “Presentation of Non-GAAP Information” and the accompanying reconciliations for more detailed information about this non-GAAP measure.

Sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 were $2.1 billion, an increase of seven percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. This primarily reflects $159 million of sales during the extra week in 2012, as well as growth in facilities and breakroom supplies. Excluding the extra week of sales in 2012, fourth quarter sales decreased one percent versus the prior year. Operating income rate increased 31 basis points to 9.26 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. This increase primarily reflects lower incentive compensation, partially offset by reduced product margin.

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