Following a record year in 2014 for sales, growth and industry performance, CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, North America’s largest multi-store operator (MSO), offered a positive outlook for continued strong performance as it outlined its growth strategies and market opportunities for the year ahead.
Speaking at the 26th annual CARSTAR Conference in San Diego, CARSTAR CEO David Byers shared the company’s financial performance for the year, and detailed the corporate and store-level programs that will continue to drive growth across North America.
Business Outlook Strong for 2015 and Beyond
CARSTAR had previously announced that it finished the first quarter of 2015 with revenue of $195.6 million, which puts it on track to outpace its performance in 2014. Last year, CARSTAR delivered North American revenue of $712 million, up nearly 10 percent from $649 million in 2013, a record for the company. It also reported same store sales growth of 12.5 percent for the first quarter, after ending 2014 up 11.3 percent over the previous year. This growth leads the collision repair industry among all other companies.
CARSTAR saw a significant increase in insurance work during the first quarter of the year. At the conference, Byers announced several new major MSO insurance programs with the top 10 carriers had recently been signed. In 2014, its insurance carrier volumes increased 11 percent over 2013, and it added 179 direct repair programs (DRPs) to its network, a trend continuing in 2015.
The vendor rebate program also continues to deliver strong results. In 2014, CARSTAR processed more than $7 million in total rebates, plus millions more in local and regional discounts. For a store owner using all of the CARSTAR rebate programs, that can equal up to 2 percent or more of a store’s gross sales back in rebates and discounts.
“We are on the right track for continued strong performance, and confident that our key growth initiatives for 2015, combined with a positive market trends and an improving economy, will deliver another year of exceptional performance for our organization and our store owners,” said Byers. “We’ve had a long-term plan for improving our KPIs, helping our store owners improve their operations through our CARSTAR EDGE Performance Platform and CARSTAR Operating Procedures, and building our network with the best operators in the industry. We’re seeing this pay off, and expect to reap additional benefits in the years ahead.”