ATLANTA-Although net income for the fourth quarter edged slightly downward, The Home Depot ended its fiscal year with an 18.7 percent gain in net income, to $5.4 billion.
Net income for the quarter, which ended on Feb. 2, was $1 billion, down 0.8 percent.
Net sales for the home-improvement retailer reached $78.8 billion for the year, up 5.4 percent and including an increase of 6.8 percent in same-store sales. Frank Blake, Home Depot’s chairman and CEO, said it was the company’s strongest same-store gain in 14 years, aided by “solid execution and the recovering housing market.” Net sales in the quarter declined 3 percent to $17.7 billion; a company statement on the financials did not give a same-store sales number for the quarter.
Gross margin in the quarter gained 10 basis points to finish at 35 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses were down 4.6 percent in dollars and 37 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 22.7 percent.
For fiscal 2014, Home Depot said it expects total sales to grow about 4.8 percent, and same-store sales to rise 4.6 percent. The company also plans to open seven new stores this year.