DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Ace reports Q4 revenues of $1.4 billion

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based co-op saw comps grow 1.3%

BY HBSDealer Staff

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp reported fourth quarter revenues of $1.4 billion, up 5.7% from the same quarter last year. U.S. same-store sales for the quarter were up 1.3%.

Fourth quarter net income was $25.2 million, compared to $14.2 million in last year’s quarter, which was weighed down by costs from warehouse network reconfiguration.

For the full year, Ace hit a record $5.7 billion in revenues, up 6.1% from 2017. Same store sales were up 2.3% for the year. Net income for the year was $128.2 million, a decrease of $19.2 million, from fiscal 2017. The company said the decrease was due to warehouse expansion costs, lower Retail Support Center productivity, and increased marketing and advertising expenses.

A particular bright spot was online sales. The co-op saw a 43% increase in revenues at acehardware.com.

After last year’s patronage dividends to shareholders exceeded $150 million, this year’s figure is down to $142 million. CEO John Venhuizen explained: “While still meaningful, this is a reduction from last year driven by our expanded assortment, higher inventory and lower RSC productivity which drove expenses up and profit down for the year.”

The company announced its worldwide store count increased to 5,253. The co-op added 257 new stores in 2018.

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