Staples Inc. , the largest U.S. office supply retailer, reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales, hurt by weak demand in Europe, and cut its profit forecast for the year.
Chief executive officer Ron Sargent said in a statement that international results were weaker than expected as the effects of “very challenging” market conditions more than offset cost-control efforts.
Sales rose slightly to $6.57-billion in the third quarter ended on Oct. 29. Analysts on average were expecting $6.72-billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
International sales fell 1.9 per cent to $1.3-billion, mostly due to a 12-per-cent decrease in comparable-store sales in Europe.
Profit rose to $326.3-million, or 47 cents a share, from $288.7-million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting a profit of 47 cents a share.
Staples now expects to earn a net profit of $1.38 to $1.42 a share for the full year, down from its previous outlook of $1.42 to $1.48.
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