May 14, 2013

CHICAGO – May 14, 2013 – True Value Company today reported gross billings of $444.3 million for the quarter ending March 30, 2013, down 0.9 percent or $3.9 million from $448.2 million for the same period a year ago. Revenue was $312.8 million, an increase of 0.4 percent or $1.3 million. The cooperative posted a quarterly net margin of $0.4 million, down $7.7 million compared to $8.1 million from a year ago.

Gross billings were down due to a decline in lumber and building material vendor direct ship sales. Revenue was up modestly in the quarter, as revenue from new stores exceeded lost revenue from terminated stores. This was partially offset by a comp store revenue decline in warehouse shipments to our retailers. This was in line with the decline our retailers experienced in retail comp store sales in the quarter.

“While winter related product sales exceeded the prior year, the general lack of spring weather this March versus last year was too much to overcome. Last year our retailers’ comp store sales were up double digits in March and this year they were down a high single digit,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Lyle Heidemann. “In April and early May, for the parts of the country where spring has arrived, our retailers on average are experiencing double digit increases in their retail comp store sales.”

“First quarter profit was down primarily due to a decline in the gross margin rate and, as planned, a slight increase in departmental spending. The gross margin rate decline was driven by two factors. First, as a result of the very different weather pattern this year versus last year, our product mix of regular replenishment sales had a much lower average margin rate. Second, our promotional product sales had on average a lower margin this year, compared to last. These rates are expected to rebound in the second quarter,” said Heidemann.

About True Value Company
True Value Company, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world’s largest retailer-owned wholesale hardware cooperatives with gross billings of $1.9 billion and revenue of $1.4 billion in 2012. The True Value cooperative includes approximately 4,600 independent retailer locations worldwide operating under the store identities of True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply. Additional information on True Value and its retail identities is available at