Home Depot income beats expectations

THE WORLD’S largest home-improvement retailer, Home Depot, has posted sales of $15.1bn (£9.3bn) in its fourth quarter results.

Analysts had predicted lower revenues of $14.8bm.

The US firm, which operates 2,248 retail stores worldwide, also updated its profit forecasts for this year on the back of the stronger than expected performance.

It said it now anticipated a 2.5 per cent increase in sales for this year, with earnings per share increasing approximately 9.5 per cent to $2.20.

Home Depot’s net income increased to $587m in the three months to 30 January this year, up from $301m a year earlier.

Overall sales last year for the firm hit $68bn, an increase of 2.8 per cent on a year earlier. Earnings per diluted share were $2.01, compared to $1.55 per diluted share a year earlier.

The company said it planned to open ten new stores this year and repurchase approximately $2.5bn of outstanding shares.

Chairman and chief executive Frank Blake said: “We continued to invest in our business and made solid progress against our key initiatives.

“We completed the roll out of our Rapid Deployment Centers, an important part of our distribution network; we saw year-over-year improvement in customer service ratings; and we continued progress on our merchandising transformation. Our actions, coupled with an improving economy, resulted in positive sales growth for the year, the first time since 2006.

“Our associates did an outstanding job in 2010. Their hard work and dedication made these accomplishments possible.”