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Ace Hardware posts decline in first-quarter profit

By Wailin Wong
Ace Hardware Corp. posted a year-on-year decline in net profit for the first quarter, as increased operating expenses and tepid consumer spending led to a decrease in sales.

The Oak Brook-based retailer reported net income of $11.8 million for the period, down 18 percent from $14.4 million in the same quarter last year. Total revenues came to $830.7 million for the quarter, a decrease of 2.4 percent from the year-earlier period. In the U.S., the soft economy meant declines in paint, hardware and plumbing sales, the company said, although the lawn and garden category saw an uptick in activity. Overseas sales were up 36.4 percent on the year, an increase Ace attributed to strong activity in the Middle East.

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