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TBC posts record sales and earnings -- again

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TBC Corp. recorded record sales and earnings for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2003.

The company has posted a year-over-year gain in earnings per share for 10 consecutive quarters. TBC stock was selling for $28.13 a share at the close of the NASDAQ stock exchange Oct. 21. That tops TBC's 52-week high of $27.89.

For the third quarter, TBC announced the following financial results:

* net sales of $362.4 million, an increase of 22.7% vs. 2002's third-quarter results.

* net income of $10.5 million. That compares to $7.6 million a year ago -- an increase of 38%.

* a unit tire sales increase of 12.1%; that compares to an estimated increase of 7.5% for the industry.

* an increase in same store sales (for TBC's retail segment) of 1.7%.

"Our record third-quarter results were driven by the successful execution of our retail strategy as well as the expected rebound in wholesale demand," says Larry Day, TBC CEO and president.

"Within the retail segment, our Big O franchised store network and our Tire Kingdom company-operated retail locations again turned in solid quarters, with both contributing to the positive comparable store sales results. The 112 Merchant's Tire & Auto locations acquired earlier this year also performed well, despite the hurricane-related impact on September sales."

Day says the company is looking forward to completing its acquisition of the 226-store National Tire & Battery (NTB) chain from Sears, Roebuck & Co. in December. "We also plan to continue the internal growth initiatives that helped push our combined store count to 918 locations at the end of September."

He added that TBC expects to add 20 to 25 more outlets during the fourth quarter.

For the first nine months, TBC recorded net income of $23.9 million on net sales of $947.8 million. That compares to net income of $19.3 million on net sales of $831.9 million for the period last year.

Same store sales and total unit tire sales increased 1.1% and 2.5%, respectively.

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