Improvements in consumer awareness, trust and preference helped push Monro Muffler Brake Inc. to a 4-percent comparable store sales increase and a 25.6-percent jump in net income in its fiscal third quarter.
In the quarter ended Dec. 27, the Rochester-based automotive service chain reported sales of $64.5 million, up 6.3 percent
from $60.7 million last year. Net income grew to $3 million from $2.4 million last year. Also in the quarter, Monro opened five stores and closed two for a total of 565 at the end of the period.
Comparable store sales in the quarter were up 0.2 percentage points from a 3.8-percent increase last year, the company reported. The increase was fueled by a 10-percent increase in the brake category, a 2-percent increase in exhaust sales, a 25-percent increase in scheduled maintenance and a 12-percent increase in commercial sales.
``We are pleased with our results for the third quarter, which demonstrate the traction we have gained in terms of consumer awareness, trust and preference in the geographic areas in which we operate,'' said Robert Gross, president and CEO. ``Of particular note, our sixth consecutive quarterly comparable store sales increase was driven by strong performance across our business.''
For the nine months of the fiscal year, Monro reported sales of $212.3 million, up 8 percent from $196.6 million last year. Net income jumped 31.7 percent to $14.8 million from $11.3 million last year.
For the fourth quarter, Monro reiterated its earnings guidance of 14-17 cents per share.