ROCHESTER, NY — Monro Muffler Brake has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year, which ended on March 27. The company said the results were in line with the previously announced expectations.
Full year sales increased 8.3 percent to $279.5 million from $258 million in fiscal 2003, driven by a 4.7 percent increase in comparable store sales. New stores added $10.9 million, including $3.5 million from the newly-acquired Mr. Tire stores. The company attributed comparable store sales results to an approximate 16 percent increase in scheduled maintenance, a 6 percent increase in brake sales and a 19 percent increase in commercial sales.
Gross profit improved to $114.8 million, or 41.1 percent of sales, from $105.6 million, or 40.9 percent of sales, last year. Annual net income increased 23.9 percent to a record $17 million, or $1.18 per diluted share, from $13.7 million, or $0.97 per diluted share.
Fourth quarter sales increased 9.4 percent to $67.2 million from $61.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2003, reflecting the positive impact of a 2 percent increase in comparable store sales. New stores added $5.1 million. Gross profit increased to $25.9 million, or 38.5 percent of sales, from $24.2 million, or 39.3 percent of sales, in the same period last year. Net income for the quarter was $2.2 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, as compared to $2.5 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, in the year-ago period. Net income declined, as previously discussed, due to several reasons including a shift in the seasonality of the business to the third quarter related to owning more tire stores, a shift in the timing of the recognition of insurance expense, and the impact of implementation of EITF 02-16 related to the recognition of cooperative advertising credits.
Robert Gross, president and CEO of Monro, said fiscal 2004 was an important year for the company. “While expanding our top and bottom lines and enhancing certain product and service offerings, we also improved penetration of key geographic areas,” said Gross. “Our overall sales improvement, evidenced by the 4.7 percent increase in comparable store sales, in addition to an increase in oil changes and higher store traffic, contributed to the 24 percent improvement in our net income.”
The company also reaffirmed its previously announced expectations for fiscal 2005. For the first quarter, the company estimates earnings per diluted share to be between 48 and 52 cents versus 41 cents a year ago. On an annual basis, the company anticipates sales of approximately $345 million to $355 million, with comparable store sales growth of 3 to 5 percent. This would translate into record earnings per diluted share in the range of $1.40 to $1.50, based upon weighted average shares outstanding of approximately 14.8 million. Monro plans to open 25 new stores in 2005, of which 20 are projected to be BJ’s Wholesale Club locations.
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