Ace Q2 revenues increase to $1.021 billion

In a second-quarter earnings season characterized by weather-depressed sales figures, Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. managed to show a gain in revenues.

For the three months ended July 2, Ace saw revenues increase 0.5% to $1.021 billion. For the six-month period, sales increased 1.6% over the same two quarters in 2010.

“We are very pleased with our solid performance during the second quarter despite unfavorable weather conditions in April and May,” said Ray Griffith, Ace president and CEO. “In addition, we are excited about the introduction of our Clark+Kensington paint and primer, which will help drive increased sales and profitability for our retailers.”

The increase in revenue came as the company added 32 new stores and canceled 41. It ended the quarter with a total store count of 4,435, including international locations.

Net income for the quarter was $34.6 million, up 20% from the same period last year.

Other financial highlights from Ace's second quarter:

• Merchandise sales to comparable domestic stores increased 0.6%;

• Gross profit for the quarter was $125.1 million, a decline of 12.2% from the prior year. Higher inbound freight costs contributed to the decline.

• Operating expenses decreased 15.7% to $83.7 million.