RONA sees a 7 percent decline in net income

Boucherville, Quebec-based retailer RONA, one of Canada’s largest retailers of building materials and home improvement items, saw net income drop 7 percent to C$80.1 million (US$75.2 million) from C$86.2 million in the year-ago period.

Consolidated sales increased slightly to C$1.473 billion from C$1.469 billion in the same period last year. Same-store sales fell 4.4 percent.

New acquisitions contributed heavily to sales, the company said, noting that consolidated net sales would have declined by 2.9 percent if not for the contributions of those companies: Noble Trade, Dick’s Lumber, Centre de Renovation Andre Lessard and Best-MAR. Rona also said it is boosting promotions and service to attract customers.

“Sales generated by new stores opened in the last 12 months could not compensate for the decline in same-store sales, which decreased by 5.8 percent in the first half of 2008, excluding the 0.5 percent decline in the price of forest products,” the company said.

The company said a large part of its strategy will be to continue recruiting independent dealers. The retailer announced 12 new franchisees yesterday and said it has added 21 independent dealers so far this year.