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Feb. 26, 2008 - Home Depot Reports First Annual Sales Decline

February 26, 2008
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As homes go so goes Home Depot. In a fourth-quarter earnings report today, the home improvement giant said its annual sales in 2007 dropped 2 percent, marking the company’s first-ever yearly sales decline.

Sales in 2007 were $77.3 billion from $77.3 billion in 2006. What’s more, the 2007 sales figures included a 53rd week. Excluding that week, sales would have declined by 3.5 percent. Same store sales fell almost 7 percent.

For 2008, the company is expecting a sales decline of 4-5 percent and plans to open fewer stores – 55 down from 100 last year.

For the fourth-quarter, Home Depot’s profits fell 27 percent to $671 million. In 2007, the company earned $4.4 billion, down 24 percent from 2006.

January sales of existing homes declined 0.4 percent to an annual rate of 4.89 million, according to a report yesterday by the National Association of Realtors. That’s the lowest pace since the group started keeping track in 1999. In other housing news, home foreclosures jumped 90 percent last month, according to a report today from RealtyTrac.

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