True Value Company recently reported its fourth quarter results, including gross billings of $457.3 million for the quarter ended December 28, 2013, an increase of 1.3% or $5.8 million from $451.5 million for the prior year fourth quarter. Revenue was $340.7 million, an increase of 0.2%, or $0.7 million. The co-op posted quarterly earnings of $12.5 million, a decrease of 57% or $16.6 million, from $29.1 million for the same period a year ago.
For its fiscal 2013, True Value reported gross billings of $1.9 billion, an increase of 0.9% or $16.2 million for the same period a year ago. Revenue was $1.4 billion, an increase of 1%, or $13.5 million. Comparable store sales to retailers were up 2.4% on a gross billings basis and up 1.6% on a revenue basis. Retailer comp store sales were up 2.1%, based on over 1,600 reporting retailers. The co-op posted earnings of $55.3 million, a decrease of 26.2% or $19.6 million, from $74.9 million for the same period a year ago. The profit decrease was primarily driven by a 2012 fourth quarter litigation settlement gain of an ongoing matter, according to the company. The profit decrease was 5.3%, excluding the one-time gain.
“We ramped things up in late summer, right through December, and I’m pleased to report we ended the year with increases in gross billings, revenue and comparable store sales,” said president and CEO John Hartmann. “Our largest increase in both retail and wholesale comp store sales was in the farm, ranch, auto and pet product category. This category was up at wholesale 11.2%.”
“We added 137 new hardware stores in 2013, a combination of new ground up stores and conversions from other distributors. We also continued to support our current retailers’ investment in their stores. In 2013, we provided over $32.4 million in loans, free inventory and other financial incentives to retailers who implemented the Destination True Value retail format,” added Hartmann. “Our retailers remodeled, expanded, or opened 864,000 square feet of DTV retail format in 2013, bringing the total to approximately five million square feet since DTV rolled out in 2007. Stores that have implemented the DTV format continue to outperform stores that have not.”