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FRAMINGHAM, MA-Office supply retailer Staples Inc. said it is on track to open 100 North American stores this year as it moves to increase its presence beyond the 1,801 stores that presently make up its North American and international markets.

The expansion plans, announced during a conference call reporting the firm’s second quarter results, includes 11 US and two Canadian stores that opened during the quarter. Three North American distribution centers will also be open by the end of the year. In addition, company officials said Staples also plans to add two stores in Portugal and one in Germany to its existing 262 European stores and has entered into a joint venture to bring its office supply line to the Taiwan market.

The Framingham, MA company, which is facing competition from Home Depot and big-box stores such as Wal-Mart, said gains in its North American market share and improvements in its overseas operations helped profits rise by 19% in the second quarter.

Net income for the period ending July 29 rose to $161.2 million, or 22 cents per share, an increase $26 million over the $135.2 million, or 18 cents per share, earned in the second quarter of 2005.

Strong sales of mobile computing products, office supplies and copy and printing services boosted sales 4% at Staples’ North American stores open at least a year. The firm said its office furniture category, which suffered a slowdown in recent quarters, also showed signs of improvement as did sales of Staples branded items. The company, which launched more than 200 branded items in time for back-to-school sales during the quarter, it is on target to reach its 20% sales goal for Staples branded merchandise.

Staples’ office products delivery business also showed strong gains during the quarter with delivery revenues rising 17% but sales at the company’s international operation were sluggish, growing just 1% for stores open at least a year.

Company officials said Europe’s slow economy along with remodeling costs and expenses associated with integrating some of the firm’s new European operations were to blame for Staples lackluster performance in Europe.

Overall, company-wide sales for the quarter increased 12% to $3.88 billion compared to $3.47 billion in the second quarter last year. The results exceeded analysts’ expectation of $3.81 billion in sales for the period.

The office-supply retailer also re-affirmed its full-year earnings outlook, saying per share earnings growth should be at the high end of the 15% to 20% range. Staples expects the same 15% to 20% per share earnings growth for the third quarter based on sales increases in the low double digits, the company said. Same-store sales were also expected to increase by the low single digits for both the third quarter and the full year.

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