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The records keep falling for Monro Muffler Brake

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Monro Muffler Brake Inc. recorded record net income of $11.1 million on net sales of $165.5 million for the third quarter ended Dec. 25, 2010. That compares to income of $7.9 million on sales of $152.7 million for the same period the previous year.

Operating income for the quarter increased 31% to $18.7 million.

Comparable store sales increased 5.4% as compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2010, broken out as follows: approximately 8% for tires, 7% for shocks, 6% for maintenance services and 2% for brakes, with exhaust flat and alignments down slightly. The company opened four locations and closed four other locations during the quarter, ending the third quarter of fiscal 2011 with 783 stores.

Gross margin increased to 39.1% in the third quarter from 38.3% in the prior year quarter as a result of:

* the implementation of price increases;

* the leveraging of distribution and occupancy costs against higher sales;

* increased vendor rebates; and

* improved labor productivity.

"Our record top- and bottom-line results in the third quarter demonstrate our ongoing ability to leverage our increased scale, capitalize on favorable macroeconomic conditions that continue to drive our business, and gain market share," says Robert Gross, chairman and CEO.

"Importantly, our strong value proposition and reputation as a trusted service provider continue to resonate with our customers, and we continue to see consumers choosing Monro to help them maintain older vehicles for a longer period of time. As a result, we once again achieved a same store traffic increase of more than 5% and generated a solid performance across most of our major service categories during the third quarter.”

Through nine months of fiscal 2011, net income was up 37.6%, to $37.6 million, while net sales increased 16.4%, to $485.9 million. Both were records for the company. Comparable store sales were up 5.7%.

Based on current visibility and business and economic trends, Monro anticipates fourth quarter
comparable store sales growth in the range of 2% to 4%. The company also expects to finish its fiscal year with at least $635 million in sales.

"Our recent acquisitions are outperforming expectations, and we anticipate further expansion of our market share through additional fairly-priced, opportunistic acquisitions in our existing markets," says Gross.

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