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Pep Boys comps driven down by retail weakness

PHILADELPHIA — Comparable sales for the third quarter took a slight dip at The Pep Boys due to continued weakness in the company's retail segment. The company reported that comparable sales fell 0.4%, consisting of a 0.4% comparable service revenue increase and a 0.6% comparable merchandise sales decrease. Total sales increased 5.2% to $522.2 million from $496.4 million for the same period last year.

The company reported that net earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 increased to $7 million, or 13 cents per share, from $5.7 million, or 11 cents per share, from the same period last year.

“Our service business started to rebound during the third quarter,” commented president and CEO Mike Odell. “Our ‘surround sound’ marketing effort coupled with lower gas prices and pent-up demand drove strong tire sales in the last month of the quarter, which have continued into the fourth quarter. While our retail business remained soft in a challenging environment for consumers, our service business results and margin enhancement initiatives resulted in our 11th quarter of improved profitability, on a year-over-year basis.”

The company opened six Service & Tire Centers during the quarter bringing its total to 159. According to CFO Ray Arthur, the company is ahead of its targeted openings for 2011 and expects aggressive growth in 2012. 

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