CHICAGO, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- True Value Company today reported gross billings of $460.1 million for the quarter ending March 29, 2014, up 3.6 percent or $15.9 million from $444.2 million for the same period a year ago. Revenue was $331.5 million, an increase of 6.0 percent or $18.9 million. The cooperative posted a quarterly net margin of $0.9 million, up 125 percent, or $0.5 million compared to $0.4 million from a year ago.
Retail comp store sales were up 7.3 percent in the quarter with increases in each region of the country and in each of our nine product categories. Co-op revenue was up 6.0 percent and up in all but one region of the country and in seven of nine product categories. The increase was led by the farm, ranch, auto and pet, seasonal, plumbing, and paint categories. Gross billings from new stores exceeded lost revenue from terminated stores by $6.9 million. Wholesale comparative store sales, on a gross billings basis, were up 2.0 percent in the quarter.
The net margin increase for the quarter was primarily driven by two factors: higher sales volume out of the regional distribution network and a higher average gross margin rate. The latter resulted from a shift in the mix toward more regular replenishment orders versus promotional or discounted product orders.
"We had a great first quarter from a sales perspective, driven by the ongoing rollout of our expanded farm, ranch, auto and pet assortments and strong demand in winter weather-related product classes that carry higher gross margin rates," said President and Chief Executive Officer John Hartmann. "We continue to add new stores and assist our retailers in investing in their stores by remodeling to the Destination True Value format. We also installed new paint colorant systems in about 1,000 stores."
True Value Company, based out of its Retail Support Center in Chicago, is one of the world's largest retailer-owned hardware cooperatives. The True Value cooperative represents independent retailer locations worldwide with retail sales in their communities totaling approximately $5.5 billion. Store identities include True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply. Additional information on True Value Company and its retail identities is available at www.truevaluecompany.com.
For more information, contact: True Value Media Relations (913) 660-9624