A major player in the North American auto glass replacement and collision market saw a near-10% decline in sales through the first part of 2021. Company officials attribute the slump to lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Boyd Group, parent company of several major retail auto glass and collision chains in the U.S. and Canada, recorded $421.6 million in total sales in the first quarter of 2021. This was down by 9.9% compared to the same period in 2020.
The company’s U.S. operations, which make up over 90% of its sales and include Gerber Collision and Glass, Glass America, Auto Glass Service, Auto Glass Authority and Autoglassonly.com, saw a 6.5% decline in revenues. Boyd Group operates third-party administrator Gerber National Claims Services. Gerber Collision and Glass also recently acquired a new facility that was previously used as a collision repair center in Buford, Ga., officials tell glassBYTEs.
Boyd Group’s Canadian businesses, which include Boyd Autobody and Glass, were hit much harder with a 34% dip in revenues.
“Following steady improvement in demand in the last half of 2020, the improvement trend flattened out during the first quarter of 2021 with a significant surge in COVID-19 infections and reinstatement of restrictions in many markets, particularly Canada, where same-store sales declines were more significant in the first quarter of 2021 when compared to the fourth quarter of 2020,” Boyd Group president and CEO Timothy O’Day said in a letter to shareholders. “Compounding the demand challenges of COVID-19, production challenges, including technician capacity constraints in select markets, weather events in the southern states, and supply chain disruptions resulted in reduced demand for our services.”
According to Boyd Group’s most recent financial report, sales performance in the second quarter of 2021 is “only marginally higher” than the first quarter. Improving demand in the U.S. has been partially offset by worsening demand in Canada due to continued or tightened restrictions. Looking forward, the company is optimistic economic conditions will improve.
“We continue to prepare for the future, as restrictions continue to loosen, the economy re-opens and vaccination levels increase,” said O’Day. “As vaccination rates increase and as market demand returns to normal levels, we are well-positioned for the future.”