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Office Depot focuses on global growth following Q4

Since Office Depot completed its merger transaction with OfficeMax Nov. 5, 2013, the company has been aggressively executing its integration plan. The company’s fourth quarter results for the period ended Dec. 28, 2013 include OfficeMax’s operations, which generated $939 million of sales.

Chairman and CEO Roland Smith said that the company is focused on a number of key priorities, which include creating a lean organization with clear roles and accountabilities as well as defining its vision, mission and long-term global growth strategy. Smith anticipates that the company’s comprehensive reorganization will be completed by the end of the month.

“For 2014, we are committed to delivering not less than $140 million of adjusted operating income,” he added.

Total sales for the quarter increased 33% to $3.5 billion compared to the prior-year quarter. The company also reported an operating loss of $118 million for the quarter compared to operating income of $5 million in the prior-year quarter, and a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $144 million, or $0.34 per share, compared to a net loss of $17 million, or $0.06 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter. The reported results include merger-related expenses, asset impairment and other charges.

Following the merger with OfficeMax, divisional reporting was aligned to the three divisions historically utilized by Office Depot: North American Retail, North American Business Solutions and International. The former OfficeMax U.S. Retail business is included in North American Retail, the former OfficeMax U.S. Contract and Canada businesses are included in Business Solutions and the former OfficeMax businesses in Australia, New Zealand and Mexico are included in International.

North American Retail Division sales in the quarter increased 31% to $1.4 billion compared to the prior-year quarter, primarily reflecting $384 million of sales from the OfficeMax stub period, from the merger closing date to Dec. 28. Same-store sales decreased 4% primarily due to lower average order values, and lower transaction counts resulting from decreased store traffic.

Office Depot ended 2013 with a total of 1,912 retail stores in the North American Retail Division, made up of 1,089 Office Depot branded locations and 823 OfficeMax branded locations. During the fourth quarter of 2013, the company closed 16 Office Depot stores and seven OfficeMax stores, and opened one store under each brand.

Business Solutions Division sales increased 54% to $1.2 billion in the quarter compared to the prior year period, primarily reflecting $422 million of sales from the OfficeMax stub period.

International Division sales increased 15% to $911 million in the quarter — an increase of 12% on a constant currency basis — compared to the prior year period, including $133 million of sales from the OfficeMax stub period.