ROANOKE, Va. Advance Auto Parts has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 1.
Total sales for the fourth quarter increased 11.1 percent to $1.27 billion, compared with total sales of $1.14 billion during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. The company said this sales increase reflects the net addition of 143 new stores during the past 12 months and a comparable store sales gain of 8.9 percent compared to a 2.4 percent comparable store sales gain during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Fiscal 2010 comparable store sales increased 8 percent on top of a 5.3 percent increase in fiscal 2009.
The company’s gross profit rate was 49.4 percent of sales during the fourth quarter as compared to 47.9 percent during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. For fiscal 2010, the company’s gross profit rate was 50 percent, or 113 basis points favorable to fiscal 2009.
The company’s operating income increased 38 percent during the fourth quarter to $83.9 million as compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. The company’s operating income rate increased 127 basis points to 6.6 percent of sales. Including the impact of store divestitures in fiscal 2009, the company’s operating income increased 47 percent, and operating income rate increased 161 basis points.
During fiscal 2010, the company generated $666.2 million in operating cash flow and a record $466.4 million of free cash flow. Free cash flow increased 13.8 percent from $409.9 million last year primarily due to strong growth in net income.
“Overall, 2010 marked our third consecutive year of improved financial and operational performance. While our performance in 2010 was fueled by strong industry dynamics and favorable weather patterns, the strategic choices we have made through our investments and the superior execution of our team played a significant role and enabled us to gain market share and position our company for long-term growth and success,” said Mike Norona, executive vice president and CFO.