D’Ieteren Releases Financial Results

D’Ieteren released its financial reports for full-year 2014 today. The company’s full-year sales for the automotive glass repair and replacement division are up 1.3 percent. D’Ieteren is the parent company of Belron, which owns Safelite.

Belron’s sales came in at $3.22 billion USD (€2.88 billion EU) in full-year 2014, compared to $3.18 billion in USD (€2.84 billion EU) in 2013. The 1.3 percent increase includes a 2.2 percent increase from acquisitions, partially offset by a 0.5 percent organic decrease, a 0.3 percent negative currency translation and an adverse 0.1 percent trading day impact.

Belron’s profits before taxes were $117.25 million USD (€104.7 million EU), down 19.8 percent over last year.

The automotive glass repair and replacement division reports 11 million AGRR jobs were completed for full-year 2014, compared to 10.8 million in the previous year.

U.S. sales increased by $63.76 million USD (€57 million EU), according to the company’s presentation in a conference call this afternoon.

“In the U.S., the extreme weather conditions in the eastern regions of the country until the end of April generated a very strong and unexpected uplift in sales but with a relatively low fall through to profit due to the impact of the weather on the business’ ability to serve customers, resulting in lower productivity as well as inventory shortages,” according to the statement.

European sales were down by 5.2 percent, including an increase of 1.8 percent from acquisitions due to the Spanish Guardian acquisition at the end of December 2013 and additional DoctorGlass franchisee acquisitions in Italy, and a positive currency impact of 0.6 percent due to a stronger British Pound. These more than offset a decrease in organic sales of 7.4 percent, which Belron says was due to warm winter weather in Northern Europe and an adverse 0.2 percent trading day impact, officials report.

Overall, the European sales were down $159.95 million USD (€143 million EU). Officials say the European decline was mostly due to France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Touching on the various countries, the company report notes that the United Kingdom is going from a “branch and mobile network to a fully mobile operation. Employee consultation concluded in the U.K. and changes are being implemented,” they add.

In Germany, the company has closed a “loss-making” special business unit. Carglass had been running a separate activity offering AGRR services for heavy commercial vehicles, such as buses, which has been shuttered.

In Italy, the AGRR division lost a major insurance partner, which Belron said impacted business.

In the Netherlands, new road surfacing technology has led to a decline in demand for AGRR services, according to officials.

In China, the company has reduced its “footprint from 36 branches to eight” and terminated wholesale activity.

In addition to releasing full-year results, D’Ieteren announced that Benoit Ghiot, D’Ieteren’s chief financial officer, is resigning to pursue a new professional endeavor, effective March 31, 2015.

“In the name of the entire board of directors, I wish to warmly thank Benoit Ghiot for his extremely positive contribution to the D’Ieteren group during the last 12 years,” says Axel Miller, managing director. “We wish him well in his future career. Necessary measures are being taken to assure his succession.”

D’Ieteren’s activities are financed autonomously and independently of each other. Between December 2013 and December 2014, the group’s consolidated financial net debt has increased from $565.79 million USD (€505.3 million EU) to $669.46 million USD (€597.8 million EU).

The net cash position of the D’Ieteren Auto/Corporate segment decreased from $253.54 million USD (€226.4 million EU) in December 2013 to $154.65 million USD (€138.1 million EU), partially due to the acquisition of independent dealerships in the Antwerp and Mechelen areas ($34.72 million USD or €31 million EU).

Belron’s net financial debt increased slightly from $819.41 million USD (€731.7 million EU) in December 2013 to $824.12 million USD (€735.9 million EU), mainly due to the stronger U.S. dollar.

To view the company’s financial report, click here.

To view the company’s Power Point presentation, click here.

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