Genuine Parts Co. Reports 2 Percent Increase in 2008 Sales - aftermarketNews

Genuine Parts Co. Reports 2 Percent Increase in 2008 Sales

Company says EPS decreased 2 percent.

ATLANTA — Genuine Parts Co. has reported sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2008.
Tom Gallagher, chairman, president and chief executive officer, announced today that sales in 2008 were $11 billion, up 2 percent compared to 2007. Net income for the year was $475.4 million, a decrease of 6 percent compared to $506.3 million in 2007. Earnings per share on a diluted basis were $2.92, down 2 percent compared to $2.98 in 2007.

Commenting on the results, Gallagher stated, "In line with our announcement on Jan. 23, 2008 proved to be an interesting, as well as challenging, year for Genuine Parts Co. We are, however, pleased to report that 2008 represents another record level of revenues for us. Again for 2008, the company’s strongest sales improvements came from our two business segments serving the manufacturing sector of the economy. Motion Industries, our Industrial Group, reported a 5 percent increase for the year and EIS, our Electrical/Electronics Group, reported a 7 percent increase. The Automotive Group and S.P. Richards, our Office Products Group, continued to experience slower industry demand, with Automotive reporting just a slight sales increase in 2008 and our Office Group reporting a 2 percent decrease for the year."

Gallagher added, "We are disappointed that earnings did not improve over the prior year, with all of the shortfall coming in the final quarter. Fortunately, we were able to maintain a strong balance sheet and generate solid cash flows, which we returned to our shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases."

Sales decreased 4 percent to $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008, compared to $2.6 billion for the same period in 2007. Diluted earnings per share in the fourth quarter were 55 cents, down 27 percent compared to 75 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2007.

Gallagher commented, "After reporting steady and consistent results through the first three quarters of the year, we experienced a weakening in demand across all of our business segments during the final quarter, reflecting the effects of reduced consumer spending, declining industrial production and higher unemployment. In the fourth quarter of 2008, our Automotive sales were down 6 percent, our Industrial Group sales were unchanged, our Electrical/Electronics Group was down 4 percent and our Office Products Group was down 5 percent."

Gallagher concluded, "Due to all of the current economic uncertainties, our outlook for the near term is a bit more cautious than it might be in more normal times. However, we continue to be quite optimistic about the longer-term prospects for GPC and for each of our businesses. We believe the underlying fundamentals and demographics in all four business segments remain long term positive and each industry should return to historical growth levels as we work our way through the current economic downturn."

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