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Ace Hardware Reports Record Third Quarter 2019 Results

Ace Hardware  Susan Montgomery  Shutterstock 725 x 500.jpg

Ace Hardware Corporation, the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world - with more than 5,300 locally owned and operated hardware stores in approximately 70 countries - today (20th November) reported record third-quarter 2019 revenues of $1.53 billion, an increase of $102.9 million, or 7.2 percent, from the third quarter of 2018. Net income was $60.5 million for the third quarter of 2019, an increase of $24.2 million from the third quarter of 2018 and also a record for the Company.Ace Hardware is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world 

“My thanks to our local owners for their continued momentum and growth. A 3.4 percent same-store-sales increase, 48 new stores, and an 81 percent increase in revenue from acehardware.com drove our 7.2 percent increase in revenues,” said John Venhuizen, President and CEO. “In addition to record revenues and profits, we are also proud that our stores continued growth has moved Ace into fifth place on the Franchise Times top 200 behind companies like McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King. Ace is the only non-food brand in the top five.”

The 3.4 percent increase in retail same-store-sales during the third quarter of 2019 reported by the approximately 3,200 Ace retailers who share daily retail sales data was the result of a 2.4 percent increase in average ticket and a 1.0 percent increase in same-store transactions.

Revenues

Consolidated revenues for the quarter ended September 28, 2019 totaled $1.53 billion. Total wholesale revenues were $1.40 billion, an increase of $62.5 million, or 4.7 percent, as compared to the prior year third quarter. Increases were noted across all departments except paint, with hand and power tools, grilling and outdoor power equipment showing the largest gains. Wholesale merchandise revenues to new domestic stores activated from January 2018 through September 2019 contributed $35.3 million of incremental revenues during the third quarter of 2019, while wholesale merchandise revenues decreased $7.9 million during the third quarter due to domestic stores whose memberships were cancelled. Wholesale merchandise revenues to comparable domestic stores increased $54.2 million for the quarter. This net increase was partially offset by the elimination of $15.6 million of sales to ACO Inc. (“ACO”) which became a wholly-owned subsidiary and was fully consolidated beginning in the first quarter of 2019. This elimination was not required in 2018. The Company’s Ace Hardware International Holdings, Ltd. (“AIH”) subsidiary had a $4.7 million increase in wholesale revenue from the third quarter of 2018. This increase was primarily driven by higher sales to key retailers in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Ace Wholesale Holdings LLC (“AWH”) had a $3.4 million decrease of wholesale revenues from the third quarter of 2018 as a result of a decision to reduce the number of products available for sale to certain customers due to low profitability.

Total retail revenues for the quarter were $126.3 million, an increase of $40.4 million, or 47.0 percent, as compared to the prior year third quarter. Retail revenues from Ace Retail Holdings LLC (“ARH”) were $121.0 million in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of $42.0 million, or 53.2 percent, from the third quarter of 2018. A significant portion of this increase was due to the inclusion of ACO which contributed $27.8 million of this increase. The remaining increase was the result of new retail stores added by the Westlake Ace Hardware (“Westlake”) retail chain since the third quarter of 2018 coupled with a 4.9 percent increase in Westlake same-store-sales. Westlake operated 132 stores at the end of the third quarter of 2019 compared to 122 stores at the end of the third quarter of 2018. Retail revenues from Ace Ecommerce Holdings LLC (“AEH”) were $5.3 million in the third quarter of 2019. This was a decrease of $1.6 million from the third quarter of 2018 and was the result of an intentional 36 percent decrease in customer acquisition marketing during the quarter while The Grommet launched its new ecommerce website.

Ace added 39 new domestic stores in the third quarter of 2019 and cancelled 18 stores. The Company’s total domestic store count was 4,528 at the end of the third quarter of 2019 which was an increase of 79 stores from the third quarter of 2018. On a worldwide basis, Ace added 48 stores in the third quarter of 2019 and cancelled 19, bringing the worldwide store count to 5,327 at the end of the third quarter of 2019.

Gross Profit

Wholesale gross profit for the three months ended September 28, 2019 was $183.3 million, an increase of $16.1 million from the third quarter of 2018. The wholesale gross margin percentage was 13.1 percent of wholesale revenues in the third quarter of 2019, up from 12.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018. The increase in the wholesale gross margin percentage was due to additional vendor funds earned and higher initial product gross profit rates as a result of passing through vendor price increases. These price increases were partially offset by the unfavorable LIFO expense that vendor price increases create.

Retail gross profit for the three months ended September 28, 2019 was $57.0 million, an increase of $19.3 million from the third quarter of 2018. This increase was largely the result of the inclusion of ACO results in the current quarter of $11.6 million. The retail gross margin percentage was 45.1 percent of retail revenues in the third quarter of 2019, an increase from 43.9 percent in the third quarter of 2018. The increase in the gross margin percentage was a result of the inclusion of ACO results in the current quarter which carried a higher margin. For ARH, retail gross profit is based on the Company’s wholesale acquisition cost of product, not ARH’s acquisition cost which includes a markup from the Company.

Source : Insight DIY Team and Ace Hardware

Image : Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock.com

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25 November 2019

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