BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - May 14, 2013) - RONA Inc. (RON.TO)(RON-PA.TO), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, held its 2013 annual meeting of shareholders today. The following is a brief summary of the highlights of the meeting held at RONA's head office in Boucherville, Quebec.
The meeting was chaired by Robert Chevrier, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Chevrier opened the meeting by saying that fiscal 2012 was a key year for RONA, as it marked the beginning a major transformation. "Shareholders made it clear to us that they wanted to see quick and significant changes. We understood what we had to do. We had to return to our strengths and focus on our profitable operations in order to realize RONA's full potential, and that's exactly what we are working on," he said.
He also noted the recent appointment of Robert Sawyer as President and Chief Executive Officer. With this appointment, the Board of Directors chose an expert in retail and distribution operations to lead RONA during this pivotal period.
Mr. Sawyer outlined the progress made on implementing RONA's three strategic priorities. "The initial results are encouraging but a great deal more remains to be done and will involve an in-depth review of RONA's commercialization, marketing and supply chain," he said. He also noted that Alain Brisebois would be taking up the duties of Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer effective May 27, 2013. Mr. Brisebois is a veteran of retail sales who has held a number of strategic positions over the past 30 years.
Election of members of the Board of Directors
The following 13 nominees proposed by management at the meeting were elected as directors by a majority of the ballots cast. Together, they form a diversified and experienced team that will continue to provide counsel in the interests of the Corporation and all its stakeholders.
|Nominee||Votes for||% for||Abstentions||% Abstaining|
|Suzanne Blanchet||Quebec, Canada||91,500,970||97.77||%||2,087,448||2.23||%|
|Réal Brunet||Quebec, Canada||92,310,449||98.63||%||1,277,969||1.37||%|
|Robert Chevrier||Quebec, Canada||89,360,249||95.48||%||4,233,169||4.52||%|
|Eric Claus||Nova Scotia, Canada||91,587,016||97.86||%||2,001,402||2.14||%|
|Bernard Dorval||Ontario, Canada||92,289,544||98.61||%||1,298,674||1.39||%|
|Guy G. Dufresne||Quebec, Canada||91,048,777||97.28||%||2,544,641||2.72||%|
|Barry Gilbertson||London, UK||91,516,560||97.79||%||2,070,858||2.21||%|
|Jean-Guy Hébert||Quebec, Canada||92,312,038||98.63||%||1,281,380||1.37||%|
|James Pantelidis||Ontario, Canada||91,441,895||97.71||%||2,142,523||2.29||%|
|Robert Paré||Quebec, Canada||91,958,090||98.26||%||1,630,328||1.74||%|
|Steven P. Richardson||Ontario, Canada||91,602,144||97.87||%||1,991,274||2.13||%|
|Robert Sawyer||Quebec, Canada||92,393,177||98.73||%||1,192,241||1.27||%|
|Wesley Voorheis||Ontario, Canada||91,580,581||97.85||%||2,012,377||2.15||%|
Final results on all matters voted on at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders held earlier today will be filed with Canadian securities regulators. Biographies of the RONA Board members are available at www.rona.ca/corporate/executive-committee.
Dominique Boies, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, summarized the financial results for fiscal 2012 and the first quarter of 2013. "We expect fiscal 2013 to be a demanding year, because it will require repositioning that will temporarily disrupt our operations. But we still have a strong balance sheet and, in this period of profound transformation of the Corporation, we will continue to maintain our highly disciplined approach to managing RONA's capital and ensuring efficiency."
Robert Sawyer concluded his remarks by outlining his vision of RONA as the top-performing hardware and building materials retailer in Canada, capable of satisfying its customers every day. "To carry out this vision, we must focus on four pillars in our daily operations: making our customers central to every decision, providing the best in-store execution, assembling the best team and, lastly, generating returns and growth for our shareholders.
Since taking up his duties, Mr. Sawyer has visited a number of stores to meet with employees and dealer-owners in the network. In just five weeks, he quickly grasped RONA's potential and reiterated his commitment to ramping up the transformation of RONA.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Sawyer remarks can be viewed in the "Recent Documents" section on the home page of RONA Inc. corporate website.
This Press Release includes "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this Press Release, including statements regarding the prospects of the industry and prospects, plans, financial position and business strategy of the Corporation may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Canadian securities legislation and regulations. Investors and others are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements.
For more information on the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that would cause the Corporation's actual results to differ from current expectations, please also refer to the Corporation's public filings available at www.sedar.com and www.rona.ca. In particular, further details and descriptions of these and other factors are disclosed in the MD&A under the "Risks and uncertainties" section and in the "Risk factors" section of the Corporation's current Annual Information Form.
The forward-looking statements in this Press Release reflect the Corporation's expectations as at May 14, 2013, and are subject to change after this date. The Corporation expressly disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by the applicable securities laws.
RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. The Corporation operates over 800 corporate, franchise and affiliate retail stores of various sizes and formats under different banners, and a network of 14 hardware and construction materials distribution centres. RONA is also a leader in the specialized plumbing and HVAC market, primarily serving commercial and professional customers with a network of close to 60 sales outlets and four distribution centres across the country. With close to 28,000 employees, the RONA store network generates consolidated sales of $4.9 billion. For more information, visit rona.ca.