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Staples cuts 500 jobs worldwide

First-quarter net income falls 6 percent

Staples announced plans to cut 500 jobs on Wednesday.

Lynne Sladky/AP/File

Staples announced plans to cut 500 jobs on Wednesday.

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.

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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.

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.”

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.

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