BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC -- (Marketwire) -- 02/21/13 -- RONA inc. (TSX: RON)(TSX: RON.PR.A), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, today reported its financial results for the 14-week and 53-week periods ending December 30, 2012. All figures in this release are in Canadian dollars and presented according to IFRS accounting standards.
-- Sales of $4.9 billion in 2012, a 1.7% increase over 2011. Growth is mainly attributable to the recording of a 53rd week, increased sales in the Commercial and Professional Market division and the opening of new proximity and satellite stores.-- Comparable sales across the RONA network were up 0.7% and stable versus last year when excluding the 53rd week. For the retail and commercial segment alone, same-store sales were down 0.3% (down 1.1% excluding the 53rd week), while comparable distribution sales to all RONA dealers grew 6.4% (up 6.2% excluding the 53rd week).-- New Realities, New Solutions plan generated $10.5 million of annual recurring benefits surpassing the announced target of $10 million. Related one-time costs of $44.3 million. Capital expenditures of $10 million financed through $16.5 million in disposal of assets.-- Net income before unusual and non-recurring items attributable to participating shares after the dividend on preferred shares down from $86.9 million, or $0.66 per share (diluted) in 2011 to $70.0 million, or $0.57 per share (diluted) in 2012. Decrease attributable to an important change in the mix of product sold and to the inflation in commodities in a highly competitive environment.-- Disciplined management of capital with investments in property, plant and equipment and intangibles representing 0.9 times depreciation level and reduction of 3.6% in total capital employed.-- Strong balance sheet with net debt at $307.0 million, or 1.3 times EBITDA and net debt to capital ratio of 14.0%.
"In 2012, our management team and employees focused on the execution of our New Realities, New Solutions plan and initiatives to improve our performance in line with our three financial priorities. While financial results fell short of our expectations, we maintained a disciplined management of our capital structure and generated free cash flow. Building on the assessment undertaken when we launched our plan at the beginning of the year, which was addressing only 20% of our network, we undertook a complete re-assessment of all parts of our business in order to identify additional value creation opportunities to rapidly turnaround our financial performance," said Dominique Boies, Acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of RONA.
"The results of this complete re-assessment were presented in a separate press release issued today in which we unveiled our 2013-2015 transformational plan. The overall objective of this plan is to become the best distributor for dealers across the country, optimize our retail and contractor proximity models across Canada and strengthen our leadership position in Quebec. In each of these three areas, RONA holds a leading position and the transformational plan seeks to further reinforce this. While we expect significant near-term benefits, it will take a certain time to implement the necessary actions to address a number of strategic and financial priorities. The management team, supported by the Board, is working aggressively to build on the Corporation's solid financial position and transform many aspects of our operations that have held back our overall performance" added Mr. Boies.