Ace Hardware hit a trifecta of sorts in its most recent year – record net sales, record net income and record shareholder return.
The Oak Brook, Illinois-based co-op reported fourth quarter revenues of $1.2 billion, up 5.8% from the same quarter last year. Net income was $21.5 million, up from $12.1 million in the prior-year period.
CEO John Venhuizen said he was proud of the performance.
[The co-op’s full income statement and balance sheet can be found here.]
“To give you an idea of the success of our retail strategy, we have seen increases in same-store-sales for seven consecutive years, increases in new store growth for five consecutive years and increases in customer transactions for four consecutive years,” he said.
For the full year, the Ace reported consolidated revenues of $5.1 billion, up 1.6% compared to the prior year. Wholesale revenues were up 1.5% to $4.9 billion.
The approximately 3,000 Ace retailers who share daily retail sales data reported a 4.4% increase in retail same-store-sales during the fourth quarter of 2016. That growth was driven by increased customer count and average transaction size.
Same-store-sales at these stores were up 2.5% for the full year.
The co-op also reported a record $157.9 million in patronage dividends, driven by the sales growth, 152 new domestic stores, “and hard work by the entire Ace team,” said Venhuizen.
Retail revenues from Ace Retail Holdings – the Westlake Ace Hardware chain -- were $64.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. This is an increase of 7.7% from the fourth quarter of 2015. Same-store-sales were up 3.0% versus the prior year with outdoor living and lawn and garden showing the largest increases.
Ace added 152 new domestic stores in fiscal 2016 and cancelled 100 stores. This brought the Company’s total domestic store count to 4,363 at the end of fiscal 2016, an increase of 52 stores from the end of fiscal 2015.
On a worldwide basis, Ace added 207 stores in fiscal 2016 and cancelled 103, bringing the worldwide store count to 4,994 at the end of fiscal 2016.
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