WINNIPEG, March 23 /CNW/ - Boyd Group Income Fund announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2004. Highlights of the year include the acquisition of the remaining 50 percent interest in 1st Choice Mobile Auto Glass Dealers Inc., Vancouver, B.C., and commencement of Gerber Collision & Glass brand name roll out to all U.S. locations. Earlier this year the company acquired the Glass Network Division (the Globe Network) of Globe-Amerada Glass Co. (See glassBYTEs item January 31.)
Boyd Group Income Fund reports year end financial results
"The prolonged slowdown in the North American auto collision repair industry continued to impact our operating performance in 2004 and as a result, our revenue and distributable cash generated for the year were below expectations. Despite challenging market conditions, we made steady progress in increasing distributable cash in the second half of the year, and we made progress throughout the year in executing our strategy to position the Boyd Group for longer term growth," said Terry Smith, president and chief executive officer of the Boyd Group. "Our acquisition of the Gerber Group and its 16 repair facilities in the greater Chicago area represents our most single substantial expansion initiative to date and it has created a strong platform for future growth. Since completing the transaction, we have commenced rolling out the Gerber Collision & Glass brand name to each of our U.S. locations, began the development of five new Gerber Collision & Glass locations in the greater Chicago area and one in Scottsdale, Arizona, acquired an auto glass repair referral network, and expanded our involvement in the Direct Repair Programs of some of the largest automobile insurers in the U.S."
Year-over-year revenue growth in 2004 was primarily attributable to the acquisition of the Gerber Group in February 2004 as well as the acquisition of two Atlanta-area collision repair facilities and the acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in an auto glass business in British Columbia during the year, which cumulatively added $54.5 million in new revenue.
Net income for 2004 totalled $2.0 million or $0.16 per fully diluted unit compared to net income of $1.5 million or $0.16 per fully diluted unit in 2003. Net income for both of the 2003 and 2004 years have been adjusted to reflect discontinued operations in 2004 and 2003.
Distributable cash(1) generated for the year ended December 31, 2004
totalled $7.0 million, while distributions paid to unitholders and dividends paid to non-controlling shareholders totalled $9.1 million for the year, representing a trailing twelve month payout ratio of 129.5% (trailing 24 month payout ratio 96.1%). Distributable cash generated for the three months ended December 31, 2004 totalled $2.2 million and distributions paid to unitholders and dividends paid to non-controlling shareholders totalled $2.6 million for the period, representing a payout ratio of 115.5%.
On a segmented basis, sales in Canada in 2004 increased to $57.2 million from $55.6 million in 2003, while U.S. sales in 2004 increased to $110.4 million from $65.6 million in 2003. U.S. sales growth in 2004 was primarily attributable to $53.2 million in new revenue derived from Boyd Group's acquisition of the Gerber Group and two Atlanta area stores during the year. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation and the Gerber and Atlanta acquisitions, Boyd Group's same store sales declined 7.1% in the U.S. and increased in Canadian stores by 1.9%, with combined same store sales down by $8.1 million or 6.7%. On a sequential basis, excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, U.S. same store sales in 2004 were down 7% in Q1, 10% in Q2, 8% in Q3, and 4% in Q4.
"While it is difficult to determine when the North American auto collision repair industry will resume sustained growth, it remains a multi-billion dollar industry that offers strong opportunities for larger, professionally-managed operators like Boyd Group to consolidate the market and achieve competitive advantage through economies-of-scale and preferred relationships with insurance companies," said Mr. Smith. "Our growth strategy remains aligned with the best interests of our unitholders. We are focused on maintaining operational excellence; expanding our North American presence through acquisitions and new site developments; strengthening our relationships with insurance companies; and leveraging economies-of-scale to enhance operating margins. We also expect to continue to look for opportunities, such as our system-wide introduction of auto glass repair, to optimize our capacity utilization and leverage fixed costs. Our primary objective is to maintain distributions at current levels while continuing to reduce our payout ratio."
As at December 31, 2004, the Fund had $0.6 million in cash and cash equivalents, compared to $1.6 million in cash and cash equivalents as at December 31, 2003. The Fund's total debt outstanding increased to $27.1 million as at December 31, 2004, compared to $21.8 million as at December 31, 2003. The Fund's increased debt resulted primarily from a draw down on its $15.0 million acquisition loan facility. The draw down was used to fund a portion of the Gerber Group acquisition, which closed on February 2, 2004.
Conference call & Web cast
The call will also be audio-cast live and archived for 90 days at www.financialdisclosure.ca and www.boydgroup.com.
(1) Distributable Cash is not a recognized measure under Canadian generally accepted account principles (GAAP). Management believes that in addition to revenue and net earnings, distributable cash is a useful supplemental measure as it provides investors with an indication of cash available for distribution, both before and after debt service, capital expenditures and income tax. Investors should be cautioned, however, that distributable cash should not be construed as an alternative to net earnings determined in accordance with GAAP as an indicator of the Fund's performance. Boyd's method of calculating distributable cash may differ from other public issuers and, accordingly, may not be comparable to similar measures used by other issuers.
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