True Value Q4 gross billings up 1.3%

Chicago-based True Value Company reported gross billings of $457.3 million for the quarter ending Dec. 28, an increase of 1.3 % from $451.5 million for the prior year quarter.

Revenue was $340.7 million, an increase of 0.2%. The co-op posted quarterly earnings of $12.5 million, down 57% from $29.1 million for the same period a year ago. Last year’s earnings were inflated by a $16.5 million non-recurring gain. Excluding that gain, earnings were down 0.8%.

For the full year, True Value also reported gross billings of $1.9 billion, an increase of 0.9% from the same period a year ago. Revenue was $1,411.5 million, an increase of 1.0%. Comparable-store sales to retailers were up 2.4% on a gross billings basis and up 1.6% on a revenue basis. Retailer comp store sales were up 2.1%, based on over 1,600 reporting retailers. 

The co-op posted earnings of $55.3 million, a decrease of 26.2% or $19.6 million, from $74.9 million for the same period a year ago. The profit decrease was primarily driven by a 2012 fourth quarter litigation settlement gain of an ongoing matter. The profit decrease was 5.3%, excluding the one-time gain.

“We ramped things up in late summer, right through December, and I’m pleased to report we ended the year with increases in gross billings, revenue and comparable store sales,” said President and CEO John Hartmann. “Our largest increase in both retail and wholesale comp store sales was in the farm, ranch, auto & pet product category. This category was up at wholesale 11.2%.”  

The company reported the earnings at its True Value Reunion in Atlanta, which ended Monday. 

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