BOUCHERVILLE, Quebec Uni-Select Inc. has reported continued sales, EBITDA and net earnings growth, along with improved profitability for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014.
Overall sales grew by 0.5 percent and 2.9 percent organically. The company said EBITDA and net earnings came in well above last year as the second quarter of 2013 was impacted by restructuring charges of $35.2 million related to the implementation of the company’s "Action Plan" that was initiated in 2013.
Notwithstanding those charges, adjusted EBITDA grew by 6.8 percent this quarter, resulting in an adjusted EBITDA margin of 6.5 percent, up 5 percent over the same period last year. Adjusted earnings also grew 6 percent over the corresponding period last year.
"While the sales growth recorded in the second quarter was softer than expected, we are pleased with our overall performance and more particularly with our continued ability to lower costs and improve profitability, which are key drivers of our long-term growth plans. The implementation of the Action Plan remains on schedule and continues to yield important benefits that will make Uni-Select an even more competitive and sought-after distributor across North America," said Richard Roy, president and CEO of Uni-Select.
"Looking ahead to the second half of fiscal 2014, our primary focus will be on accelerating organic sales growth while maintaining or improving our momentum across all key performance metrics, including sales programs, supply chain, customer service and banner programs. We will also continue to focus on initiatives that will enable us to remain the partner of choice for independent wholesalers and strengthen our leadership position in the automotive aftermarket product distribution sector," added Roy.
Uni-Select recorded an increase in overall sales of 0.5 percent to $479 million in the second quarter of 2014, resulting from organic growth of 2.9 percent and revenue derived from recent acquisitions which offset sales lost from store closures, the impact of the declining Canadian dollar and one less billing day in Canada. Sales for its U.S. operations reached $343 million, up 1.1 percent over last year, with an organic growth 1.3 percent.
Canadian operations delivered $136 million in sales in the same period, a slight decrease over 2013 mainly due to the impact of a lower Canadian dollar. Canadian organic growth reached 6.8 percent, resulting from successful sales initiatives and the recruitment of new customers.
Uni-Select recorded a decrease in overall sales of 0.7 percent to $892 million for the first six-month period of 2014. Sales lost from store closures, combined with the declining Canadian dollar exceeded the 2.3 percent organic growth and the impact of recent acquisitions.
Sales for the U.S. operations for the six month period reached $654 million, down 0.2 percent compared to last year, with an organic growth of 1.1 percent. Canadian operations delivered $238 million in sales in the same period, a 2 percent decrease over 2013. Canadian organic growth reached 5.8 percent.
Uni-Select said savings derived from the Action Plan accounted for $9.4 million and were partially offset by higher utilities caused by weather conditions across North America during the first quarter.
Since the beginning of the year, the corporation generated $54 million in cash from operating activities, of which $38 million were used to reduce indebtedness. As of June 30, 2014, the corporation’s outstanding net debt stood at $260 million, down 6.5 percent from Dec. 31, 2013.