DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Highlights from True Value’s 2017 Financials

BY HBSDealer Staff

True Value Company posted its 2017 Financial Report, showing a slight sales decline during the company’s last full year as a co-op. The co-op’s net margin increased to $24.8 million, compared to $23.7 million in 2016.

In April, True Value finalized the sale of 70% the company to ACON investments. The move ushers in a new era for True Value, which ends its run as a member-owned co-op becoming instead a nationally branded wholesale distributor.

Here are some of the financial highlights from the company’s last year as a co-op. [See full report here.]

Revenue: In 2017, revenue decreased 1.7% to $1.49 billion, compared to $1.51 billion in 2016.

Gross billings: Compared to the prior year, gross billings declined 0.9% to $2.055 billion in 2017. That slight decline followed six years of consecutive growth. Gross billings include warehouse revenue, vendor direct revenue and other fees before the reduction for vendor direct costs of revenue. The $2.05 billion figure marks “the company’s second highest level of sales in the past decade.”

Comparable store sales: With more than 1,700 stores reporting, retail comps grew 0.8% in 2017. Retail sales showed gains in eight of the company’s 12 U.S. regions. Gains were also recorded in six out of nine merchandise categories. Leading the way: hand and power tools.

Net margin: In 2017, net margin was $24.8 million, up from $23.7 million in the previous year. These figures include strategic plan investment expenses of $24.8 million in 2017, and $18.8 million in 2016.

Store count: The co-op finished the year with 4,311 stores, down from 4,392 stores at the end of 2016. During 2017, the company signed 59 new core hardware stores. An additional 27 U.S. retailers converted to True Value from other buying groups.

Sales to new stores increased by $29.6 million. However, lost revenue from terminated stores was $47.5 million.

In its financial report, True Value added: “Due to competitors capitalizing on sale rumors, the Company experienced a lower level of conversions from other buying groups to True Value in the second half of 2017.”

Patronage dividend: The co-op’s $23.6 million patronage dividend increased by about $500,000 over the dividend from 2016.

E-commerce: Sales were up 21%.

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