Tires sales strong for Pep Boys PHILADELPHIA—Strong increases in tire sales helped Pep Boys—Manny, Moe & Jack set total sales records for both the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Jan. 30, 1999.
The company's sales for the year grew 16.6 percent to $2.40 billion, of which tires accounted for 14.2 percent or $340.6 million, the company said.
Among stores open at least a year, total sales rose 9.0 percent, whereas sales of tires climbed 15.4 percent. Service sales advanced 11.5 percent.
For the fourth quarter, total sales increased 12.1 percent to $563.2 million, with tires accounting for 14.8 percent or $83.4 million.
Comparable store sales grew 13.0 percent, the company said, while tire sales jumped 17.0 percent.
Pep Boys plans to release complete results, including earnings, March 18.
In the fiscal year just ended, the company opened 39 ``supercenters'' and, at year-end, operated 638 stores in 37 states and Puerto Rico with a total of 6,608 service bays.
In the current fiscal year, Pep Boys said it plans to open approximately 25 supercenters.
$50.5 billion DOT budget proposed
WASHINGTON—The Clinton administration has earmarked $50.5 billion—an increase of $2.1 billion from fiscal year 1999—for the Transportation Department in FY 2000, said Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater.
This record funding will aid the DOT in ``creating a transportation system for the 21st century—one that is international in reach, intermodal in form, intelligent in character and inclusive in service,'' Mr. Slater said at a Feb. 1 press conference.
The funding proposal includes approximately $1.3 billion for highway safety, including $404 million for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the rest for various programs at the Federal Highway Administration, Mr. Slater said.
There still is sentiment among some in Congress and elsewhere for moving the Office of Motor Carriers from the FHWA to NHTSA. The question of truck safety, and how best to advance it, is the crucial one in considering whether the office moves, Mr. Slater said.
``We have a good record on this point, but the (truck fatality) rate has been rather steady for the past few years,'' he said. ``We join with all interested parties in wanting to see that rate go down, and we have our own ideas, which we will come forward with soon.''
Truck fatalities have remained flat for the past three years at 2.8 per 100 million vehicle miles, according to DOT figures. But vehicle-related deaths in general fell from 1.7 per 100 million vehicle miles in 1996 to 1.6 in 1997, and the agency has set a goal of 1.5 by 2000, Mr. Slater said. By MIles Moore, Washington correspondent
Carlisle sets sales, earnings record
SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Carlisle Companies Inc. reported record sales and earnings for 1998, paced by its industrial components operating segment, which includes Carlisle Tire & Wheel Co.
For the year ending Dec. 31, the Syracuse-based diversified manufacturer saw net earnings climb 20.1 percent to $84.9 million, compared with 1997 results, as sales advanced 20.4 percent to $1.52 billion.
In the industrial components segment, earnings before interest and income taxes (EBIT) jumped 29.1 percent to $61.3 million on a 28.7- percent leap in sales to $510.8 million.
Carlisle said the acquisition last year of Industrial Tire Products Inc., a distributor of industrial and recreational tire and wheel assemblies, ``will help to extend our tire and wheel products to the replacement market.''
For the fourth quarter, Carlisle posted net earnings of $19.0 million, up 13.8 percent from the 1997 quarter. Sales for the three months grew 19.1 percent to $380.8 million.
Fourth-quarter operating earnings (EBIT) in the industrial components segment increased 7.2 percent to $10.4 million on a 14.6-percent rise in sales to $112.3 million.
SBA to aid rural, inner city areas
WASHINGTON—The White House and the Small Business Administration have announced a ``New Markets Initiative'' that could lead to as much as $15 billion in investments in economically depressed rural and inner city areas.
``We have to do more to invest in our own people to give them the tools they need to succeed,'' President Clinton said in announcing the program Jan. 15.
The Housing and Urban Development and Treasury departments will participate in the program, as well as private-sector bankers, investment executives and corporate sponsors, the SBA said.
The New Markets Initiative program is designed to provide capital for business needs in rural and inner-city markets that are not being met currently, the agency said. Among the mechanisms planned are:
New Markets Tax Credits, worth up to 25 percent for investments in community development banks, venture funds and corporations and other investment vehicles;
New Markets Venture Capital Companies, which provide a combination of equity venture capital financing and technical assistance to small businesses in low- and moderate-income areas;
LMI Investments and Outreach Workshops, beginning in late March in low- and moderate-income areas;
The BusinessLINC Initiative, a new government-business partnership to encourage large businesses to work with small ones, particularly in rural areas and inner cities.
The New Markets Initiative program should be in place by October, an SBA spokesman said. Some of the mechanisms require legislation to be established, he said. By MIles Moore, Washington correspondent