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Advance’s Annual Sales Top $10 Billion For First Time

Advance Auto Parts reported fourth-quarter net sales of $2.4 billion, a 12% increase over fourth-quarter 2019.

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Comparable-store sales increased 4.7%.

For the full year, Advance reported net sales of $10.1 billion, a 4.1% increase over full-year 2019. Comparable-store sales for the year were up 2.4%.

In a news release, CEO Tom Greco praised Advance team members and its independent partners “for their dedication and perseverance.”

“They were an inspiration to all of us as they cared for each other and our customers while balancing numerous obstacles both at work and at home. This enabled us to do our part to keep America moving,” Greco said. “As a result, Advance delivered another quarter of growth in comp sales, margin expansion and free-cash flow as we crossed $10 billion in annual net sales for the first time ever. We believe our DIY omnichannel net sales continued to benefit from the impact COVID-19 had on the economy and resulting consumer behaviors.

“Meanwhile, we leveraged our scale to differentiate Advance and gain market share in the quarter. This was highlighted by the successful launch of the DieHard brand, the expansion of our Carquest brand and continued success from our Advance Same Day suite of fulfillment options. We also ramped up execution on our primary initiatives to expand gross margin in the quarter including strategic pricing, owned brand expansion and the streamlining of our supply chain. We believe our actions in the fourth quarter position us well to drive additional top-line growth and further margin expansion in 2021.”

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Through the first four weeks of 2021, Greco said Advance was experiencing comparable-store sales growth in the “low double digits, with strength across both DIY omnichannel and professional.”

“We are also encouraged by improving trends in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions, which are still lagging the country, but closing the gap,” Greco added. “In addition, we remain laser-focused on the execution of our long-term plan to drive growth at or above industry growth rates, deliver meaningful margin expansion, and return excess cash to shareholders. We look forward to sharing more details in our March release of our third-annual Sustainability and Social Responsibility Report, as well as an update on our strategic business plan, which we will share with investors on April 20.”

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