Retail

Monro posts record 1Q sales

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Monro Muffler Brake's first quarter sales were $98.4 million, a record for the company.

However, Monro's comparable store sales declined 2.9% during the quarter versus a 1.7% gain achieved during the first quarter of the prior year.

But the Rochester, N.Y.-based company's store sales increased $7.4 million, including $5.5 million related to the 75 ProCare Automotive locations that it acquired on April 29, 2006.

"On a comparable store basis, the tire and maintenance service categories posted the strongest results with gains of

approximately 9% and 3%, respectively," say Monro officials.

During 1Q, Monro's gross profit rose to $41 million from $40.7 million during the same period last year.

"Gross margin was 41.7% compared to 43%, primarily due to a sales mix shift to the lower-margin tire and maintenance service categories and the impact of negative comparable store sales on the fixed cost base."

Monro CEO Robert Gross says the first quarter "proved to be challenging as macro-economic factors continued to cause consumers to defer automotive maintenance and repair purchases."

However, the company is "pleased with our progress towards integrating the ProCare locations into our proven business model.

"During the quarter, we made significant progress in reducing ProCare's cost base and have nearly completed (ProCare's) re-branding process."

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