Retail

TBC reports 9.6% increase in tire sales

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TBC Corp. reported gains in net sales, net income, tire unit sales, and earnings per share for the first quarter ended March 31, 2002.

Net sales totaled $249.7 million for the first quarter, 10% higher than in 2001. According to the company, the sales growth was fueled "primarily by increases in tire unit volume, which was 9.6% higher in the 2002 first quarter than in the first quarter of 2001."

TBC's net income rose 26% to $4.8 million compared to $3.8 million in 2001. Earnings per share rose 22% to a record $0.22.

"Solid sales contributions from both our retail network and wholesale distribution channels indicate that TBC is effectively capitalizing on the new growth opportunities created through our multi-channel marketing approach," says Larry Day, TBC's CEO and president.

"Retail expansion continues to be a growth driver of our business. A highlight of that expansion in the first quarter was our successful completion of the acquisition of Mueller Tire & Brake, one of the largest independent tire dealers in Ohio, and the integration of their 19 retail service centers into our Tire Kingdom network."

TBC added 22 tire and service centers to its Tire Kingdom and Big O retail chains in the first quarter, which increased its number of retail locations to 708. That's a 10.6% increase in outlets in the last year.

"We plan to have at least 750 stores in our retail systems by the end of the year, as we execute our plans of adding both company-operated and franchised locations," says Day.

He adds TBC is confident "that it will be able to meet or exceed the previously-announced estimate for 2002 earnings per share of $1.22."

TBC's 9.6% increase in tire unit volume was higher than the industry unit growth rate of 5% for the first quarter. TBC owns an 8% share of the domestic replacement passenger tire market, according to Modern Tire Dealer's 2002 Facts Issue.

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