OfficeMax Profit Climbs on Reduced Expenses

New York City OfficeMax Inc. posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, helped by lower expenses and improved margins.

The company said fourth-quarter profit rose to $71.5 million from $58 million a year earlier. Excluding special items, OfficeMax said its profit was $51.1 million.

Meanwhile, quarterly sales fell 2.6% to $2.2 billion. Sales in OfficeMax's contract business fell 0.8% during the quarter, while its retail segment saw a 4.5% drop in sales.

The company also said gross margin at its retail segment rose 30% during the quarter.