Uni-Sélect Inc.
TSX : UNS

Uni-Sélect Inc.

March 16, 2007 17:25 ET

CORRECTION FROM SOURCE: Uni-Select Inc. Increases its Profits by 17.6% for the Fourth Quarter of 2006 and by 8.2% for the Year

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - March 16, 2007) - A correction from source is issued in respect to the release sent out this afternoon at 1:41pm ET. In the 5th paragraph the line starting with: "Excluding the sales transferred to the Automotive Group Canada..." should have read : " Excluding the sales transferred to the Automotive Group Canada, the decrease would have been of 6.6%." Please note that the financial statements and the notes remain unchanged.

Uni-Select Inc. (TSX:UNS) announced its fourth quarter and year-end results as at December 31, 2006. Sales for the fourth quarter totalled $279,827,000, a 1.8% increase over sales of $274,928,000 in the fourth quarter of 2005. Sales totalled $1,123,903,000 in 2006, a decrease of 1.4% from sales of $1,139,956,000 in 2005. The US exchange rates negatively impacted the fourth quarter sales by 1.5% and 3.3% for the year. Excluding the foreign exchange effect, sales for the fourth quarter would have been higher by 3.3% and by 1.9% for the year.

Net earnings increased by 17.6% to $16,677,000 or $0.84 per share (earning per share is reported on a diluted basis, except when otherwise specified) in the fourth quarter from $14,186,000 or $0.72 per share in the fourth quarter of 2005. Net earnings for the year were $42,264,000 or $2.14 per share compared to $39,061,000 or $1.99 per share in 2005. Unfavourable exchange rates reduced net profits by $0.01 per share compared to the fourth quarter of 2005 and $0.06 per share for the year.

The Automotive Group USA increased its sales by 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2006. Sales for the fourth quarter increased from $132,441,000 in 2005 to $141,012,000 in 2006. Excluding the negative impact of the rise in the value of the Canadian dollar, sales (essentially as a result of acquisitions) for the Automotive Group USA increased by 9.9%. Annual revenues for the Group decreased by 0.2% to $567,402,000 from $568,356,000 in 2005. Excluding the negative impact of exchange rate movement, revenues for the Group increased by 6.8% during the year. The operating margin for the Group during the fourth quarter of the year was 7.9% compared to 8.1% in the fourth quarter of 2005. For the year as a whole, operating margin of the Group increased to 6.5% compared to 6.3% in 2005.

The Automotive Group Canada increased year over year sales by 1.4% from the fourth quarter of 2006. Sales for the fourth quarter totalled $120,479,000 compared to $118,873,000 during the same quarter of 2005. This increase is essentially due to acquisitions made during the year and to the transfer of certain operations from the Heavy Duty Group. For the year as a whole, sales for the Group totalled $489,573,000 compared to $497,620,000 in 2005, a decrease of 1.6%. The operating margins of the Group in the fourth quarter were 16.3% compared to 10.8% in the same quarter of 2005. Operating margins in 2006 for the Group were 9.6% compared to 7.5% in 2005.

Sales for the Heavy Duty Group decreased by 22.3% during the fourth quarter to $18,336,000 compared to $23,614,000 during the same quarter in 2005. This decrease is of an organic nature as it reflects the weakness in the sector. Moreover, the postponement of the delivery of wheels from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2005 which the Company estimates to be approximately $1.1M and the transfer of certain activities of approximately $1,223,000 to the Automotive Group Canada were also important factors. For the year, total sales decreased by 9.5% from $73,980,000 to $66,928,000. Excluding the sales transferred to the Automotive Group Canada, the decrease would have been of 6.6%. The operating margins of the Group for the fourth quarter were (0.9%) compared to 4.7% in the same quarter last year. In 2006, the operating margins for the Group were (2.9%) compared to 1.6% in 2005.

"Our net earnings for the period attained an historical peak and met our annual objectives. Despite the decline in sales experienced during the year, we improved earnings due to our on-going programs to improve operational efficiencies. In addition to pursuing our expansion program with 16 acquisitions completed during the year combined with our integration programs, Uni-Select continued to adjust its business model to respond to new market trends both in Canada and in the United States," declared Jacques Landreville, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are concentrating our effort on new strategies to meet the demands for parts that meet or exceed the specifications of original equipment parts as well as the demand for quality entry-level parts. Our capacity to adapt to new and changing environments which we have demonstrated in the past will guide our success."

The Board of Directors of Uni-Select Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of $0.1075 per common share payable on April 20, 2007 to shareholders of record as at March 30, 2007.

Uni-Select is Canada's second largest distributor of automotive replacement parts, equipment, tools and accessories and through Uni-Select USA, Inc.; the company also provides service to customers in the United States where it is the 8th largest distributor. Its subsidiary, Palmar Inc., sells replacement parts, tools and accessories for heavy-duty vehicles and wheels in Canada. The Uni-Select Network includes over 2,033 independent jobbers and services over 3,063 points of sale in Canada and the United States. Uni-Select is headquartered in Montreal. Uni-Select shares (UNS) are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

Contact Information

  • UNI-SELECT INC.
    Mr. Jacques Landreville
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    450-641-2440
    or
    UNI-SELECT INC.
    Mr. Richard G. Roy
    Vice President, Administration and
    Chief Financial Officer
    450-641-2440
    www.uni-select.com