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Ace sales increase for Q4 and full year

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. reported total revenues of $921.7 million for the fourth quarter, up 7.3% from the same quarter in the previous year. Net income was $19.2 million for the fourth quarter, down 6.6%.

For the full year, total revenues were up 5.1% to $3.7 billion.

“We are very pleased with our fiscal 2011 results," said Ray Griffith, Ace president and chief executive officer. “Revenues and net income were both higher than last year and our plan and we remain committed to investing in our strategic initiatives to drive further increases at both wholesale and retail.”

Net income for the full year was $77.7 million, an increase of 3.4%  compared to $75.1 million in fiscal 2010.

Merchandise sales to comparable domestic stores increased $34.8 million, or 4.9 percent, in the fourth quarter of 2011 as compared to the prior year. Merchandise sales to new domestic stores in the 2010 and 2011 fiscal year periods contributed $15.0 million in incremental sales during the quarter while merchandise revenues decreased $10.8 million due to cancelled stores.

For fiscal 2011, merchandise sales to comparable domestic stores increased $123.7 million, or 4.2%, as compared to the prior year. Merchandise sales to new domestic stores in the 2010 and 2011 fiscal year periods contributed $70.1 million in incremental sales during the year while merchandise sales decreased $51.3 million due to cancelled stores. This is a net increase in revenues of $18.8 million in 2011 related to new or cancelled stores compared to a net increase of $5.4 million in 2010. On a category basis, domestic sales were positively impacted in substantially all categories with the biggest increases in the tools, lawn and garden, paint, plumbing and electrical categories.

Merchandise sales from Ace’s international business increased $19.4 million, or 49.0%, in the fourth quarter of 2011 as compared to the prior year period primarily due to stronger sales to retailers in the Middle East and Asia regions, partially offset by lower sales to retailers in the Caribbean region.

Ace, the largest of the hardware co-ops, added 127 new domestic stores and cancelled 163 domestic stores in 2011. This brought the company’s total domestic store count to 4,072 at the end of the 2011.