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Total Company sales for the third quarter grew 13% to $3.2 billion compared to the third quarter of 2002. For the first nine months of 2003, sales grew 7% to $9.1 billion compared to the same period of 2002. Worldwide comparable sales in the 902 stores and 37 delivery centers that have been open for more than one year decreased 1% for the third quarter and 2% for the first nine months of 2003. Worldwide e-commerce sales grew 24% to $672.1 million during the quarter, and by 23% to $1.9 billion for the first nine months of 2003.

Operating profit for the third quarter 2003 was $141.5 versus $142.1 million reported in the third quarter of 2002. Earnings per share rose to $0.29 for the third quarter compared to $0.28 for the same period last year.


Bruce Nelson, Office Depot's Chairman & CEO, commented, "We accomplished a great deal during the third quarter. We completed the final funding of our Guilbert acquisition and made great strides in the integration process. We began implementing a furniture re-merchandising initiative in our NA retail stores and moved forward with our Millennium remodel test. During the period, we also completed a $400 million debt offering. As a result, our balance sheet remains very strong and we ended the quarter with a cash balance exceeding $800 million.
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