CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Although Heafner Tire Group Inc. posted solid increases in sales for the first quarter, start-up costs for a new distribution facility in California negatively impacted operating earnings. The firm reported a 6.3-percent rise in sales to $254.4 million for the quarter ended March 31. Operating earnings (EBITDA) slipped 9.1 percent to $6.6 million.
Despite the decline, Heafner President and CEO Donald Roof said the firm expects costs associated with its expansions to lead to higher sales and profitability in 2000. The recent acquisition of Lincoln, Neb.-based T.O. Haas Tire Co. Inc. is expected to add more than $100 million in annual revenues, he noted.