Gross sales at Do it Best Corp. (DIB) rose 1.4% in the fiscal year ended June 25 from the previous year to reach $2.4 billion while profitability rose 5.11% and the year-end rebate to members climbed 5.1% to $105.8 million, the co-op reported this week.

The cost of sales as well as of selling, general, and administrative expenses were essentially unchanged, DIB reported Sunday at the close of its Fall Market.

"It was a welcome change in direction to finish this past year up in every sales category and, most importantly, with an increase in profitability," DIB president Bob Taylor wrote in his comments accompanying the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op's annual report. "... Looking to the year ahead, we have no intention of waiting for the economy to recover. Do it Best Corp. and our member-owners have succeeded in increasing market share during the downturn and are now well positioned to grow our opportunities and our business in the months to come. Supported by exciting new initiatives like our development of a world-class online commerce center, we look to continue to raise the bar on our efforts."

For the year, DIB achieved a 97.8% on-time delivery and a 97.2% fill rate on more than 67,000 SKUs, Taylor said.

Sunday also was when Pat Sullivan of Sullivan's Do it Best Hardware in Indianapolis became chairman of the group. Tom Lamberth of Russell Do it Center, Alexandria, Ala., moved to become vice chairman; Tom Brown of American Home & Hardware, Elkton, Md., became secretary; and Frank Blair of Schnarr's Hardware Co., St. Louis, moved into the treasurer's spot.

DIB now counts 4,100 members in the United States and 50 other countries.