“2015 was a much better year for Belron,” according to D’Ieteren’s 2015 financial report. Belron’s sales were up 13.2 percent, including a 4.7 percent organic increase and an 8.1 percent positive currency translation impact. Belgium-based D’Ieteren owns Belron, which in turn owns Safelite AutoGlass in the United States.
“In the U.S., the company continued to invest in its growth and equipped itself with the means to improve its market share by increasing its resources (the workforce, mainly technicians, grew by 11 percent) by developing innovative digital solutions, by conducting effective marketing campaigns and by right-sizing glass inventory levels to match demand,” according to the annual 2015 report.
The company credits the sales growth to an exceptional winter in the U.S., which allowed Safelite AutoGlass to serve a record number of customers and achieve best-ever sales, reads the report.
Results for Safelite AutoGlass were not broken out from overall financials.
Looking outside of Europe, which includes Safelite AutoGlass, sales were up by 27.7 percent. This included an organic sales increase of 12.5 percent, which officials primarily attribute to the U.S.
Overall Belron sales from continuing operations were $3,574.7 million USD (€3,161.2 million in Euros), up 13.2 percent year-over-year.
Repair and replacement jobs for Belron increased by 3.2 percent to 10.9 million for the year.
“Sales benefited from a positive product mix effect due to a greater proportion of replacements versus repairs due to the harsh winter weather in the U.S.,” according to the financial report.
European sales were down by 0.2 percent, including a decline in organic sales of 2.5 percent due to market declines.
“In Italy, the decision by one of the major insurance partners in December 2014 to set up its own network for fulfilling glass claims, combined with a weaker market, resulted in a double-digit decline in organic sales,” reads the report.
In France, the company introduced claims management services. Belron also teamed up with an insurer in Australia to establish a third-party automotive glass claims administrator in 2015.
Belron spent $2.4 million USD (€2.1 million in Euros) on research and development during the year.
Looking ahead to 2016 results, the company expects moderate organic sales growth.
D’Ieteren released two reports today. The first focused financials and the second offered a discussion of business—its annual 2015 report.
Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com™ for an article on D’Ieteren’s 2015 annual report, which includes a Q&A with Gary Lubner, CEO of Belron.
To read D’Ieteren’s 2015 financial report, click here.
To view D’Ieteren’s 2015 annual report, click here.