RONA sees earnings dip in fourth quarter

Canadian home improvement retailer RONA saw earnings dip 19 percent in the fourth quarter, to $30.49 million from $38.11 million last year. Sales for the fourth quarter were $1.087 billion, down 4.6 percent from $1.14 billion in the same period last year.

The Boucherville, Quebec-based company said it has put into place “several new initiatives” to help “revitalize sales and optimize the RONA network.” The company took a one-time charge in the fourth quarter of $1.4 million to upgrade its supply chain.

"In the fourth quarter, market conditions became even softer than they had been earlier in the year, especially in eastern Canada," said Robert Dutton, CEO and president of RONA.

As part of its efforts to increase sales, at the end of 2007 RONA acquired the specialty hardware, lumber and building materials retailer Dick’s Lumber, which gave RONA three new locations in Vancouver.

The company also said it would sell $30 million in land holdings in 2008 to offset lower consumer spending. The money is part of the company’s cache of funds to build new stores.

Due to RONA’s financial cycle, the full year 2006 had one additional week than the full fiscal year 2007. For the full