Belron released its 2017 annual report and Gary Lubner, CEO, reported several achievements. Among them was the fact that the company extended its services into home repair, added a new shareholder and expanded the company’s Safelite Solutions program.
The report also stated that the company has “secured a marketing leading approach to ADAS,” while pointing out that it provided extensive training in ADAS calibration. Belron completed 165,000 calibrations in 2017, an increase of 142 percent over 2016. It experienced a greater than 50 percent increase in the number of vehicles requiring windscreen-mounted calibrations, thereby confirming market growth estimates, the company said.
Belron also expanded into new segments in 2017, including the home repair market. The company acquired Maisoning, a French home damage service business which provides home repair services to individuals, insurance and property management companies. It has 400 employees, serves approximately 120,000 customers each year, and generated over EUR 40 million of sales in 2016.
Other milestones the company cited included:
- Construction began on its new European Distribution Centre in Belgium due to increased demand.
- Creation of an automated image recognition tool that can provide an instant quotation to customers who send photos of their damaged cars. “This use of Artificial Intelligence holds great promise for the creation of a disruptive customer experience in home and auto repair services,” the company said.
- “A highlight in the USA showed top-of-mind awareness of the Safelite® Autoglass brand hitting the 40 percent mark for the first time. New marketing content was tested and rolled out in the traditional media space, including raising awareness of ADAS calibration among motorists in a number of countries.”
Specific sales figures for Belron include 3,486.2 million EUR in revenue for 2017. The company also reported that it served 12.4 million vehicle glass repair and replacement customers in 2017, a 5 percent increase over 2016. It also served 4 million customers in claims management—a 12 percent increase over 2016.
As far as the future goes, Lubner said, “Our plans to extend services contain no significant new acquisitions. Instead, we will focus on the businesses we have already acquired and the projects we initiated this year with the aim of proving our ability to disrupt the automotive and home repair markets.”