Yesterday, American auto parts and accessories retailer AutoZone Inc. reported an increase in net sales of US$1.5 billion for its first quarter ending November 22 of this year. This is compared to an increase of 1.6% from its fiscal first quarter (January to March of 2008). The news comes as hopeful for the company in a time of economic turmoil for the struggling auto sector. While the numbers are optimistic US same store sales (sales for stores opened for at least one year) decreased 1.5% for the first quarter.
“We are pleased to report our ninth consecutive quarter of double digit earnings per share growth. In this challenging macro economic environment, growing operating income is difficult, but through the dedication and commitment of our 57,000+ AutoZoners across North America, we were able to accomplish this goal,” said Bill Rhodes, current Chairman, President and CEO of AutoZone.
While increased sales were evident, their numbers also indicated an operating income increase of 0.5% (or $1.2 million US) for the quarter. Earnings per share, however, rose 10.1% to $2.23 per share from $2.02 per share in the same quarter last year.
AutoZone is the leading retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. Its total revenue in the year 2007 was US$6.1 billion. The company is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, and has a labour force of more than 55,000 employees. As of November 22, 2008, the Company had 4,122 stores in 48 states.