It appears that the dark storm clouds of the last year or so are in the rearview mirror of the Canadian automotive aftermarket, if Uni-Select’s latest financial results are any indication.
That doesn’t mean everything is rainbows and butterflies going forward, however. While there are positive signs, Uni-Select’s top boss is expressing a level of caution among the optimism.
The company saw consolidated sales of more than $416 million in the second quarter of 2021, a jump of 37.6 per cent compared to the same time last year. That reflects “a recovery from trough levels of business activity in the second quarter of 2020,” the company’s highlights noted.
“We are very pleased with our second quarter results which reflect strong market recovery from the worst of the pandemic and sequential improvement in the business,” Uni-Select’s executive chair and chief executive officer Brian McManus said in an announcement about the financial results.
Uni-Select operates three businesses: The Canadian Automotive Group, which oversees automotive aftermarket parts distribution in this country; FinishMaster, which sells automotive and industrial paints throughout the United States; and The Parts Alliance, its U.K. aftermarket parts distributor.
The goal of the parent company, McManus said, is to identify growth opportunities for each business and align them with Uni-Select’s vision for the future going forward.
“We expect 2021 to be a good year but remain cautiously optimistic as we progressively recover from the continued uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and manage through the ongoing challenges related to the supply chain,” he added.
The Canadian Automotive Group in the second quarter saw its sales rise 27.1 per cent compared to the same time last year. The Canadian dollar’s strengthened position helped, but so did organic growth, the company noted.
The improvement was “attributable to additional sales volume, savings from the workforce alignment, as well as additional vendor rebates, in part due to timing,” its results stated.