Ace posts sales and income gains in Q1

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. posted total revenues of $908.2 million for the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 6.3% compared with 2011.

Net income was $10.2 million for the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 49.3% compared with $6.8 million in 2011.

“We are very pleased with our first-quarter results," said Ray Griffith, Ace president and CEO. “The early spring weather and the successful launch of our new Clark+Kensington paint and primer in one drove substantial increases in revenue. In addition, we entered into a new credit agreement in April on favorable terms that will allow us to refinance our debt and realize significant interest savings over the life of the agreement.”

Merchandise sales to comparable domestic stores increased 4.8% in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the prior year. Merchandise sales to new domestic stores activated in the 2011 and 2012 fiscal year periods contributed $19.8 million in incremental sales during the quarter, while merchandise revenues decreased $10.3 million due to canceled stores. This is a net increase in revenues of $9.5 million in 2012 compared with a net increase of $6.7 million in 2011. 

Merchandise sales from Ace’s international business increased $7.7 million, or 19.3%, in the first quarter as compared with the prior-year primarily due to higher sales to retailers in the Asia and Latin America markets.

Ace added 30 new stores and canceled 25 stores in the first quarter and ended the quarter with a total domestic store count of 4,077.