Belron Attributes 2009 Growth to "Favorable Winter Weather Conditions," According to Parent Company D'Ieteren's Annual Report; Reports External Sales Up 12 Percent from 2008
March 5, 2010

Belron's Financials: 2008 vs. 2009
(in millions of U.S. dollars)

2008

2009
Percent Change
Total Jobs (in million units)
9.4
10.7
+14 percent
External Sales
$2,934.8
$3,298.3
+12.4 percent
Current Operating Result
$236.7 million
$293.3 million
+23.9 percent
Net Finance Costs
-51.9
-37.3
+28.1 percent
Source: D'Ieteren

Belgium-based Belron s.a. has reported that its external sales were up 12 percent in 2009 over the previous year, "due to favorable winter weather conditions and successful marketing and operational activities," according to parent company D'Ieteren's annual full-year financial report. Belron reports total worldwide sales of $3,298.3 million (2,423.2 million Euros) for the year 2009, consisting of 9 percent organic and 3 percent acquired growth.

"The organic growth was due to favorable winter weather conditions in the major European countries, additional advertising and operational improvements," reads the report, released early this morning. "These factors together offset the impact of the challenging economic environment."

The acquired growth outside Europe for 2009 is attributed to the company's 2008 acquisitions in the United States, specifically that of Diamond Glass, and in Europe it's attributed to the purchase of Mobilglas of Denmark in November 2008. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

Its current operating result is up 23.9 percent, at approximately $293.3 million (215.5 Euros), which D'Ieteren says has been "driven by sales growth and strong cost control."

D'Ietern also attributes this surge to "operational efficiency gains and cost reductions in many areas," though details are not specified.

Though in recent years currency conversions have negatively impacted the company's financial results, this was minimal for 2009, D'Ieteren reports, "with a stronger U.S. dollar offsetting weaker currencies elsewhere, most notably the [Great Britain] pound and Australian dollar."

The total number jobs-including both repair and replacement-was up 14 percent over the previous year, for a total of 10.7 million for 2009.

D'Ieteren also cites several "key developments" for the company, including a new worldwide survey for collecting customer feedback, a pursuit of "more efficient and effective relationships with its insurer and fleet partners," a roll-out of a standardized Internet presence, and the opening of its largest distribution center in the world in Ontario, Calif. (CLICK HERE for related story).

In addition, the company reports that just this year-in January 2010-Belron acquired its former Turkey franchisee.

Specific details for the United States were not included in the report. The auto glass business was the only one of D'Ieteren's three (the company also owns a car rental business and an auto distribution business) that reported an increase for 2009.

CLICK HERE for full text of the D'Ieteren report.

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