ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Monro Muffler Brake Inc. management is forecasting double-digit growth in sales and earnings for fiscal 2018 despite a dip in operating income and lower same-store sales for the year ended March 25.
Monro President and CEO John Van Heel attributed the company's optimism for the coming fiscal year to the expected benefits from recent acquisitions and improving sales trends, the latter driven by higher average ticket prices for tires.
"Looking ahead," he said, "we are optimistic about the opportunities we see to complete additional acquisitions, continue our greenfield expansion and benefit over the next several years from the growth in the number of vehicles six years old and older, which represent our core customer."
Fiscal 2017 operating income dropped 3.5 percent to $116.4 million on 8.3-percent higher sales of $1.02 billion. Monro cited "deleverage caused by negative comparable store sales and dilution from fiscal 2017 acquisitions" for the earnings drop.
Net income fell 7.9 percent to $61.5 million.
All of Monro's sales growth in the past year can be attributed to the first-time inclusion of business from new stores and acquisitions, which totaled $124.3 million. This gain was offset by a 4.3-percent comparable store sales decline, including drops of about 2 percent for tires, 4 percent for maintenance services, 6 percent for alignments, 8 percent for brakes and 10 percent for front end/shocks.