DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Revenues, income rise at Ace

BY Brae Canlen

Ace Hardware reported revenues of $949.9 million for its third fiscal quarter of 2012, a 4.2% increase over revenues of $912.0 million in the same quarter of 2011. Net income for the third fiscal quarter was $34.3 million, compared with $17.0 million in the corresponding quarter a year ago. 

For the nine-month period ended Sept. 29, Ace Hardware posted revenues of $2.92 billion, versus $2.78 billion in the same period a year ago. Net income for the nine-month period was $59.4 million, compared with $58.5 million in the nine-month period of 2011.

The results for the first nine months of 2012 included a charge for the loss on the early extinguishment of debt of $19.9 million during refinancing of a credit facility and early redemption of senior secured notes.

Revenues got a $7.6 million boost from the Oak Brook, Ill., co-op’s decision to hold its fall convention in the third quarter of 2012, compared with the fourth quarter of 2011. The change in timing will have a negative impact on fourth-quarter 2012 revenues, Ace warned.

Comp-store sales increased 3% in the United States compared with the previous year. Ace added 32 new domestic stores and canceled 32 domestic stores in the third quarter, ended with a total U.S. store count of 4,078 as of Sept. 29, 2012. Accrued patronage distributions by the end of the third quarter were $33.3 million, according to Ace’s financial statement. 

“We are pleased with our third-quarter results, as revenues and net income were both higher than last year and our plan,” said Ray Griffith, Ace’s CEO. “Our results reflect continuous improvement from our strategic initiatives, specifically in our supply chain systems. We continue to invest in our business to provide a firm foundation for future growth.”

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Comp-store sales rise at True Value

BY Brae Canlen

True Value Corp. reported revenues of $448.9 million for its third fiscal quarter, an increase of 0.7% from revenues of $445.7 million for the same period in fiscal 2011. The Chicago-based co-op posted a quarterly net margin of $15.4 million for the third quarter, versus $18.1 million a year ago, a decrease of 14.9%.

For the nine months ending Sept. 29, True Value reported revenue of $1.43 billion, an increase of 0.7% from $1.42 billion for the same period a year ago. Comparable-store sales to core domestic hardware store outlets were up 2.5% in the nine-month period. The 2012 year-to-date net margin was $45.8 million, down 4.4%, or $2.1 million, from $47.9 million one year ago.

True Value president and CEO Lyle Heidemann said the revenue increase is due to strong sales in the farm and ranch category, the company’s partnership with Benjamin Moore, and strong increases in True Value’s manufactured proprietary paint brand sales.

“Partially mitigating these gains was the lack of winter weather business in the first quarter, not repeating Hurricane Irene-related sales in the third quarter and a modest year-to-date net decline from retailer attrition,” Heidemann said. “We did, however, experience an increase in revenue in the third quarter from net gains in membership.”

On Oct. 26, True Value received $18.0 million ($16.5 million net of legal fees) as a settlement of an ongoing litigation matter. The net proceeds will be recorded as a gain in True Value’s fourth-quarter financial results.

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Ace Hardware granted Wingman status

BY Ken Clark

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. has officially been granted a trademark for the phrase “In-store Wingman,” according to Plus Patent News.

The trademark was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Ace has used the phrase to promote its customer service in the past, including in this twitter tweet from May. 

The original filing for the trademark was made in November 2011, according to the trademark website trademarkia.com.

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