True Value Boosts Membership And Revenues, 2014 Profits Slip

For its 2014 fiscal year, True Value Co. posted $54.3 million in profit prior to strategic plan spending, down 1.8% from fiscal 2013. Comparable store sales to retailers gained 5.2% on a gross billings basis while Destination True Value store comps advanced 4.8% and overall comps increased 3.1%, the company announced.

The co-op posted total fiscal 2014 gross billings of $2.02 billion, up 6% versus the year prior as revenues gained 5.9% to $1.5 billion. The 2014 fiscal year was a 53-week reporting period versus a 52-week fiscal 2013. On a 52-week comparable basis, gross billings advanced 4.9%, the company asserted.

In the profit picture, higher labor and benefit expenses, higher inbound and outbound freight expense, and operating expenses for the 53rd week, as well as the cost of the retailer subsidies on the rollout of the new paint colorant system, offset the net margin impact of higher sales volume, according to the company.

True Value provided over $16.7 million in loans to retailers who implemented the Destination True Value retail format, the company noted.

“Our strategic plan is driving powerful, positive transformation across True Value as we experienced some of the strongest growth we’ve seen in the last 20 years,” said president and CEO John Hartmann. “These achievements are the result of our members’ support and the hard work of our associates as together we make the changes needed to drive new levels of engagement, growth and efficiency.”

He added that the co-op’s “growth team had a record year attracting new members to the co-op. Gross billings from new stores exceeded lost billings from terminated stores by $23.6 million. The co-op added a total of 230 new stores in 2014, a combination of 126 new ground-up stores, conversions from other co-ops and distributors and affiliates. Additionally, 104 specialty and international stores joined the family. Because the conversions come from competing cooperatives, it reinforces our belief that True Value programs are the best in the industry.”