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True Value Advances On Better Sales, Litigation Pay Out

For the year ending December 29, True Value Co. posted earnings of $74.9 million, an increase of 24.2% from a year ago, although the retailer acknowledged that the profit increase was primarily due to a litigation settlement pay out. True Value reported gross billings of $1.88 billion, an increase of 1.1% from the year earlier, and revenue of $1.4 billion, up 0.4%.

The wholesale cooperative said its comp store sales to retailers gained 2% on a gross billings basis and advanced 1.4% on a revenue basis. Retailer comp store sales gained 1.5% based on more than 1,600 reporting retailers.

For the fourth quarter True Value posted earnings of $29.1 million, an increase of 134.7% from the year-prior period. Gross billings increased 2.3% to $451.9 million. Revenue was $340.4 million, representing an increase of 3.3% versus the year-earlier quarter.

“This was one of the most profitable years in the company’s history,” said True Value president and CEO Lyle Heidemann. “Our largest increase in both retail and wholesale comp store sales were in the paint, seasonal, and farm, ranch, auto and pet product categories. We added 44 new core stores in 2012, a combination of new ground up stores and conversions from other distributors. We continued to support our retailers’ investment in their stores. In 2012, we provided more than $25 million in loans, free inventory and other financial incentives to retailers who implemented the Destination True Value retail format. Our retailers remodeled, expanded, or opened 941,000 square feet of the Destination True Value format in 2012, bringing the total to approximately 4 million square feet since inception of the format in 2008. Stores that have implemented the DTV format continue to outperform those stores that have not.”

The True Value cooperative ended the fiscal year with approximately 4,600 independent retailer locations worldwide operating under the store identities of True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply.