ATLANTA–Effective cost management offset a slight drop in sales to bring a 12 percent increase in first-quarter net income to The Home Depot, to $812 million.
Net sales slipped 0.2 percent to $16.8 billion for the quarter, which ended on May 1, and included a 0.6 percent decline in same-store sales. But the home-improvement retailer benefitted from decline in selling, general and administrative expenses of 1.7 percent in dollars, which also shaved off 35 basis points in SG&A as a percentage of sales, to 23.8 percent. Gross margin improved by 28 basis points to 34.6 percent.
Frank Blake, Home Depot’s chairman and CEO, said sales dipped because of a poor spring selling season. However, the company said it expects net sales for the whole fiscal year to rise 2.5 percent.