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DELRAY BEACH, FL-Office Depot’s retail sales were up during its Q3, which ended Sept. 24, but the retailer posted a loss of $48 million. That drop reflected “a number of charges relating to asset impairments, exit costs and other operating items,” according to a company statement.

Without those charges Office Depot’s net earnings were $115 million. Company executives are expecting an additional $34.3 million that will be levied during the next quarter.

The retailer also had difficulties in its international sales, which fell 4% compared to last year. Steve Odland, the company’s chairman and CEO, says this was mainly a result of a “challenging economy and competitive pressure in Europe.”

But the firm’s 885 North American units that were open at least a year from the quarter fared well. Year-over-year same-store sales rose 4%, and total sales jumped 10%. Sales per sf at those units increased 3.7%, to $261.03. After openings in the last 12 months, the company ended the quarter with 1,009 stores in the US and Canada.

The company closed 15 stores during the quarter and opened 13. Six remain closed as a result of damages from Hurricane Katrina. This year Office Depot is on track to open 100 units, and executives forecast the same number of openings for next year.

Total sales for all Office Depot’s retail operations, as well as its non-retail business services division were up 5%, at $3.5 billion. North American retail sales accounted for just over $1.6 billion of that total.

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