Tire sales at Monro Muffler Brake Inc.'s comparable stores fell 11% in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017, capping off a year of lower tire sales in those same stores.
Overall comparable store sales were down 4.3% at Monro. Tire sales dropped 2% for the year, which ended March 25, 2017. The company says maintenance services fell 4%, alignments dropped 6%, brakes fell 8% and front end/shocks were down 10% in comparable stores for the year.
That said, Monro's acquisitions continued to help the company record better sales. For the fourth quarter, sales increased 10% to $252 million, compared to $229 million in 2016. The sales increase of $23 million was due to sales from new stores of $40.8 million, including sales from recent acquisitions of $35.1 million. For the same period, comparable store sales dropped 8%.
For the full year, net sales increased 8.3% to $1 billion, compared to $943.7 million for fiscal 2016. The $77.9 million sales increase was due to an increase in sales from new stores of $124.3 million, including sales from recent acquisitions of $102.5 million.
Net income for the fourth quarter was $9.7 million, compared to $13.9 million in the same period of the prior year.
Net income for fiscal 2017 was $61.5 million, compared to $66.8 million a year ago.
Monro's income-to-sales ratio for fiscal 2017 was 6% — down from 7.1% in 2016.
John Van Heel, CEO and president says, “The combination of unseasonable weather and a difficult consumer spending environment resulted in a decline in our comparable store sales, which reduced our profits for the fourth quarter and the full fiscal year.
"As we enter the first quarter of fiscal 2018, our comparable store sales have improved and are up quarter-to-date, led by higher average ticket. Comparable store sales for fiscal April increased approximately 3% and are up approximately 2% month-to-date in fiscal May. Thus far in the first quarter, on a comparable store basis, we are also realizing higher margins in both our tire and service categories.”
During fiscal 2017, Monro opend 105 company-operated stores, including 30 greenfield locations. That gives the company 1,118 company-operated stores as of March 25, 2017.
Monro says its 2017 acquisitions are expected to add $150 million in annualized sales, and increase the company's tire purchases by 25% above fiscal 2016.