CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 15, 2002) — Heafner Tire Group Inc.'s pre-tax operating income more than doubled over last year despite a slight drop in sales. However, the company, which is changing its name to American Tire Distributors July 4, reported a net loss for the quarter of $756,000.
Heafner credited a decline in operating expenses for its rise in EBITDA — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — to $7.4 million from $2.9 million a year ago. Sales fell 1.5 percent to $251.6 million.
"With our tight cost controls, we are in an excellent position to weather the industrywide slowdown and to profit as sales pick up," said Richard P. "Dick" Johnson, Heafner´s president and CEO.
Heafner's net loss was affected by its retirement in mid-April of $121.4 million in bonds, the company said. This retirement meant the company had to make eliminations for extraordinary gains from the action. The loss was an improvement, though, over a loss of $8.6 million last year.
Heafner, a nationwide distributor of tires, wheels and automotive accessories, operates 62 distribution centers in 35 states. The company recently announced its name change as part of a transition from a collection of companies joined through various acquisitions into what it called a “single-minded organization” that reflects its roots as a wholesaler.