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Uptick in revenues for Ace


Ace Hardware reported first-quarter revenues of $923.2 million, up 1.7% from the same quarter in 2012. Net income of $4.4 million was down from $10.2 million earned in 2012.

"While our first-quarter results are down compared with the prior year, both revenues and net income were ahead of plan," said John Venhuizen, Ace CEO. "The first quarter of 2012 was an extraordinary quarter because of the unseasonably warm spring weather with revenues up $54.2 million, or 6.3%. Our expectations were that this was unlikely to recur in 2013, and we planned accordingly."

Venhuizen replaced Ray Griffith as CEO at the end of March.

The December acquisition of Westlake Ace Hardware, the 85-store Midwest chain, resulted in a reduction of reported wholesale revenues, as wholesale revenues from Ace to Westlake — a total of $18.9 million for the first quarter of 2013 — are now eliminated.

Ace's balance sheet also reflects the acquisition. It now includes $74.4 million of Westlake inventory, $19.7 million of property and equipment, $23.1 million of goodwill and other intangibles, and $39.0 million of acquisition debt.

The co-op's wholesale revenues of $883.4 million were down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Comparable-store wholesale merchandise revenues declined 2.2%. The co-op said "approximately half of this decline was in the lawn and garden categories where the unseasonably cold spring weather in 2013 compared to the unseasonably warm spring weather in 2012 negatively affected demand."

Ace added 21 new domestic stores and cancelled 19 domestic stores. The new store count at the end of the first quarter is 4,106.

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