RONA sees smaller loss in Q1

Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA, the Canadian hardware retailer and distributor, saw a sales increase of 1.8% in the first quarter of 2012, as the company narrowed its net loss.

Consolidated same-store sales were down 0.8% for the company that is putting more of an emphasis on what it calls its “proximity” stores designed for convenience and service.

Revenues for the quarter were C$934.9 million, up 1.8% from the previous year’s quarter. The company’s net loss was reduced to C$13.3 million in the first quarter, compared with a loss of C$17.6 million in the first quarter last year.

"Our New Realities, New Solutions business plan is going forward as planned,” said CEO Robert Dutton. “Just two months after it was introduced, 10 new prime sites have been chosen for the redeployment of business volume from identified big-box stores to our proximity and satellite stores. … These initiatives will enable us to gradually redeploy the sales volume from five of the 10 big-box stores whose closures were announced in February 2012.”

Dutton also reported a positive trend in sales in stores that specialize in building materials. “This demand for building materials bodes well for the coming months, because it usually signals the start of bigger construction and renovation projects,” he said.

Also, Jean Gaulin told the company’s shareholders at their annual meeting that he will step down. 

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