ITASCA, Ill.—Noting that it continues to be concerned about a soft overall automotive service aftermarket, Midas Inc. reported drops in sales, operating income and net income for fiscal 2000 as well as for the fourth quarter in particular.
The Itasca-based company's net income for the year fell 20.6 percent to $30.5 million vs. $38.4 million the previous year. It showed a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.4 million vs. $7.4 million profit for the 1999 period.
Sales and revenue in fiscal 2000 were $346.2 million vs. $355.5 million in 1999. For the fourth quarter, Midas' sales dropped 6.3 percent to $74.9 million compared with $79.9 million in 1999. Operating income for the year, at $45.1 million, sank 34.1 percent from $68.4 million reported the previous year.
The company said it took a number of charges against earnings "to increase the allowance for bad debts and to implement a program to reduce ongoing employee-related operating costs."
Despite a "challenging" automotive aftermarket in 2000, Midas Chairman and CEO Wendel H. Province said the company "made progress in implementing strategic initiatives designed to improve Midas' long-term retail and wholesale sales and profitability."
Midas has, in the past year, "expanded our service offering to include climate control and maintenance services, upgraded the appearance of shops in North America, launched the Parts Warehouse Inc. network of quick delivery wholesale parts distribution sites, and improved our corporate and franchisee information systems," Mr. Province said.
The company will continue to expand those initiatives in 2001 "to support the long-term growth and success" of the Midas system, he added, though Midas "continues to be concerned about the softness in the overall automotive service aftermarket."
Two years ago, during the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week shows in Las Vegas, Mr. Province had announced Midas' introduction of climate control products into its North American franchised installation shops, which then numbered 2,150. That initiative involved a multi-year pact, with Visteon Automotive Systems becoming Midas' exclusive supplier of a full line of air conditioning and heat-transfer products for domestic and import cars and light trucks.
At the time, Mr. Province said Midas would continue to expand its services—including tire sales—as opportunities arose.
Midas currently has 2,700 franchised and licensed shops in 19 countries, including more than 2,000 in the U.S. and Canada. They provide exhaust, brake, steering and suspension services, as well as batteries, climate control and maintenance services.