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Staples says sales fall 10.6 pct, to close 225 stores

March 6 (Reuters) - Staples Inc, the largest U.S. office supplies retailer, reported a 10.6 percent decline in quarterly sales, hurt mainly by a fall in same-store sales in North America, and said it planned to close 225 stores by 2015.

The company also said it had initiated a $500 million gross cost reduction program.

Staples' sales fell to $5.87 billion in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1 from $6.57 billion, a year earlier.

Comparable store sales in North America, excluding sales through Staples.com, fell 7 percent.

Staples' net income from continuing operations rose to $212 million, or 33 cents per share, from $90 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company earned 33 cents per share from continuing operations, excluding items.