Home Depot Inc.’s chief financial officer said today the country’s subprime collapse and record levels of unsold homes would continue.

“We don’t think we’ll see an improvement in that until the back half of 2008, said CFO Carol Tome. She made her remarks early this morning at the Raymond James European Investors North American Equities Conference in London. Home Depot presented a live webcast of the presentation on its Web site.

Last month, the home improvement retailer said it expects its annual profits to fall as much as 15 percent.

In other news, the company also is increasing efforts to attract professional contractors to its retail stores. An article published today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reports on the company’s initiatives to beef-up products and services, including “house calls,” to plumbers, electricians and general remodelers operating as one-man shops.

The article says that 35 percent of Home Depot’s retail sales come from only 4 percent of its customers - small professional contractors who were not likely buying supplies at HD Supply, Home Depot’s former wholesale unit that it recently sold to private investors.

Read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article here >>