Comps, Earnings Down But Acquisition Boosts Aaron’s Revenues

Aaron’s, Inc., which sells and leases furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, has announced that net earnings for the second quarter ended June 30 were $8.5 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, versus $25.9 million or 34 cents per diluted share, in the year-earlier period. Comparable store sales slipped by 3%.

Net revenues increased 22% to $672.5 million versus $550.5 million for the second quarter of 2013. The $122 million increase in revenue was derived from a $138.9 million revenue contribution from Progressive Finance, acquired April 14, partially offset by a decrease of $16.9 million in Aaron’s core business revenue, the retailer pointed out.

In April, Aaron’s noted that it introduced a plan to stabilize and improve the core business.  The plan focuses on comparable store revenue growth, enhancing Aaron’s online platform, driving cost efficiencies, moderating new store growth and strengthening the company’s franchise network, the company noted. In the process, the company stated, it has identified more than $50 million in potential annual cost savings and efficiencies. Initiatives to realize the cost savings are already underway, the retailer added

“The second quarter was a transformative period for Aaron’s,” said company CEO Ronald Allen, in announcing the financial results. “Our acquisition of Progressive Finance opens new and fast-growing channels to our customers that we previously could not access. The combination with Progressive positions Aaron’s to maintain its leadership position in the lease purchase market and drive shareholder value. We believe there are tremendous synergy opportunities with Progressive, and initiatives to capture these synergies are underway.”

As of June 30, Aaron’s itself operated 1,266 namesake stores and worked with 784 franchised locations as well as maintaining 83 company-operated HomeSmart stores, and three franchised HomeSmart stores.  The total number of Aaron’s owned and operated stores open at June 30 was 2,136.