TBC shifts into gear with NTB stores

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TBC Corp.'s focus for its National Tire & Battery (NTB) chain in 2005 "will be on execution rather than integration," TBC CEO and President Larry Day told investors this morning. "NTB is poised to grow in brand mix."

TBC officials are "expecting a lot of positive momentum from NTB this year."

TBC's same store sales increased nearly 3% during the fourth quarter of 2004 with a lot of that growth being driven by NTB, according to TBC officials.

TBC's retail segment makes up 64% of the Memphis, Tenn.-based company's consolidated sales.

TBC achieved fourth quarter 2004 sales of $487.8 million, a company record. Its sales for the full year of 2004 totaled $1.8 billion, a 40.7% increase over 2003 levels.

Day says TBC also is pleased with the progress of its Big O Tire Inc. and Carroll's Tire Warehouse units.

"Big O had a very good year," says Day. The franchise operation experienced "strong growth in the Big O brand. They have positioned themselves for growth in 2005." (TBC plans to add 15 to 20 new Big O franchise locations this year.)

Day expects the same from Carroll's, which he says achieved "very good results in the latter half of the year.

"TBC's wholesale performance was ahead of the industry (in 2004) due to our private brands. The ability of independent tire dealers to have exclusive rights to a brand is certainly a benefit."

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