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Ace 2008 sales decline 2.7%

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ace Hardware reported revenue of $956.1 million for the fourth quarter ending Jan. 3, a decrease of 0.2% compared with $957.9 million for the same period in 2007. Net income for the fourth quarter was $15.3 million, a decrease of 27% from $21 million a year ago.

Bright spots in the down year include reduced operating expenses and a strong international business.

“We are pleased with our overall 2008 performance, particularly in a year of enormous economic and housing related challenges,” said Ray Griffith, Ace president and CEO. “We made numerous mid-course adjustments that enabled us to reduce operating expenses, further strengthen our balance sheet and deliver a solid bottom line.”

Ace activated 117 new stores and cancelled 242 stores, bringing the total store count to 4,581 at the end of the year.

Fourth-quarter net income was lower compared with 2007 primarily due to the timing of employee profit sharing and incentive expense accruals, the company said.  

For fiscal year 2008, Ace reported total revenue of $3.9 billion, a decrease of 2.7% from $4 billion in 2007. Fiscal 2008 consisted of 53 weeks compared with 52 weeks for fiscal 2007. The 53rd week added approximately $38.6 million in sales to the full year and fourth-quarter 2008 reporting periods.

Net income for the year was $85.8 million, down 1.3% from $86.9 million in 2007.

Excluding the impact of the 53rd week in fiscal 2008, merchandise sales to comparable stores for 2008 were down 3.6%, while merchandise sales to new domestic stores activated in the 2007 and 2008 fiscal years contributed $72.1 million in incremental sales in 2008. 

Excluding the impact of the 53rd week, merchandise sales to comparable stores were down 3.6% in 2008.

Merchandise sales from Ace’s international business continued to be strong and contributed $18.5 million in incremental sales in 2008, up 10.2% over 2007. This increase was driven by higher sales to existing businesses in the Middle East, Canada and the Caribbean.

“Our 2008 sales performance, considering the challenging environment, speaks to the strength of the Ace brand and the positioning of our business model,” Griffith said.

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USGBC names senior VP LEED

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The U.S. Green Building Council has appointed Scot Horst to the new position of senior VP for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), effective April 1.

During his LEED Steering Committee chairmanship, Horst has overseen the development of LEED for Core and Shell, LEED for Schools, Revisions to LEED for Existing Buildings, LEED for Neighborhood Development, LEED for Homes, LEED for Healthcare and LEED 2009. He is a LEED Accredited Professional and has worked on more than 70 LEED projects. He has been a LEED faculty member, a LEED reference guide author and chair of the PVC Task Force of the Technical and Science Advisory Committee.

“Scot‘s visionary leadership has been much in evidence in his role as chair of the LEED Steering Committee these past three years,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC and board chair of GBCI. “The evolution of LEED under his watch culminates with the launch of LEED v3, which sets a new benchmark for high performance buildings.”

In addition, Horst is a partner in 7group, a green building consultancy, and president of the Athena Institute International.

“Scot rounds out USGBC’s management ‘dream team’ that includes Chris Smith, Rebecca Flora and Michelle Moore and Peter Templeton at GBCI,” Fedrizzi added.

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State representative passes Ace store to family

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mark Murdock, who was recently elected to his first term in the Minnesota House of Representatives, has turned over the operation of Perham Ace Hardware business in Perham, Minn., to his son Nick Murdock and Nick’s wife Katie, according to the Perham Enterprise Bulletin & Herald.

Murdock’s position in the State House of Representatives sees him spend a lot of time in St. Paul, but he still works every other Saturday in the Perham store.

For now, Nick and Katie Murdock are managing the Ace Hardware store, which is still owned by Mark Murdock and his wife Pat. The plan is that the younger Murdocks will purchase the business in 2010.

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