A 4.5-percent increase in same-store sales in the fourth quarter pushed TBC Corp.'s net sales up 33.5 percent to $370.7 million for the quarter and up 18.8 percent to $1.3 billion for the year.
Net income jumped 17.1 percent to $9.5 million for the quarter, and the year saw a 21.8-percent increase to $33.4 million. Retail same-store sales increased 2.1 percent in 2003. Total unit tire sales rose 10.7 percent for the quarter and 4.5 percent for the year, compared with a 1.7-percent increase in shipments by tire makers in 2003.
TBC said the integration is ahead of schedule and should be completed by mid-year.
In the quarter, TBC completed its $260 million buyout of 225 National Tire & Battery stores from Sears, Roebuck and Co. The process of converting and integrating the stores began in January, TBC said.
In addition to the influx of NTB stores, TBC added 24 new stores to its retail network, finishing the year with 591 company-owned outlets and 576 Big O franchised stores. The total 1,167 stores represent a 54-percent increase over 2002's tally of 758.
In 2004, TBC said it plans to add about 20 company owned stores and 25 to 30 franchised stores.