Staples cuts 500 jobs worldwide as 1Q net income fell 6 percent

Office supply giant Staples Inc. said Wednesday that it has cut 500 jobs worldwide as first-quarter net income fell 6 percent to $187 million.

About 200 of those cuts were in the company’s operations in North America, the rest in Europe and Australia. The Framingham-based company declined to say how many cuts took place in Massachusetts. The company’s worldwide headcount is about 88,000.

During the first quarter of 2012, the company said it recorded $28 million of pre-tax expenses, with about $22 million of that total related to headcount reduction.

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Total company sales for the first quarter of 2012 were $6.1 billion, a decrease of 1 percent in US dollars and flat on a local currency basis compared with the first quarter of 2011, Staples said in a press release.

Staples added that its outlook for 2012 is unchanged and “assumes continued slow growth in the US economy and a soft demand environment in Europe.”

Including the impact of the 53rd week in fiscal 2012, Staples said it expects full-year sales to increase in the low single-digits and full-year diluted earnings per share to increase in the high single-digits versus adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.37 in 2011.

In a statement, chairman and chief executive Ron Sargent said, “In North America, we continue to build momentum in categories beyond office supplies while trends in our international business remain soft.”