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Ace Hardware reports sales gains in Q2

The Ace house stars in a national television campaign.

Pointing to sales gains in virtually every department, Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. reported second-quarter revenue growth of 9.7% -- to $1.74 billion from $1.07 billion. Net income increased to $42.3 million, compared with net income of $14.9 million in the same quarter last year.

CEO John Venhuizen said the co-op is pleased with the results so far in 2013. "Sales increased in virtually every department with significant growth at both wholesale and retail from our Discovery Edge, Level 3 merchandising re-sets and branding inititatives," he said. 

The second quarter also included a charge of $6.2 million related to the closing costs of the co-op's Retail Support Center in Toledo, Ohio. 

Across the Ace network, same-store retail sales were up 5.3% for the quarter, with momentum gaining in June (up 6.1%) and July (up 9.8%). 

The company's income statement includes a line for retail revenues -- $77.7 million for the three months ended June 29. This line tracks the company's December 2012 acquisition of Westlake Ace Hardware, which operates 86 stores in the Midwest. Same-store sales at these Ace-owned stores were down 3.4%, which the co-op contributed to a cold spring that limited lawn and garden sales.

On the wholesale side, total wholesale revenues were $1.1 billion, up 2.4%, as compared to the prior year. The increase would have been 4.4%, when including wholesale revenues to WHI, the indirect owner of the Westlake chain.

The Ace co-op added 34 new domestic stores and canceled 19 in the second quarter. The total domestic store tally stands at 4,121 as of June 29. 

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