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O'Reilly reports record product sales for 1997

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O'Reilly Automotive Inc. Jan. 20 announced record product sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 1997, of $316.4 million, compared to $259.2 million in 1996, an increase of 22.1 percent.

Product sales for the fourth quarter of 1997 increased to $78 million from $64.7 million for the same period in 1996, an increase of 20.6 percent, according to an O'Reilly press release.

"We are pleased to report comparable store product sales increased by 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 1997, and by 6.8 percent for the year ended Dec. 31, 1997, compared to the same periods of 1996," said David O'Reilly, president and chief executive officer, in the release.

Comparable store product sales are calculated based on the change in product sales of only those O'Reilly stores open during both full periods being compared.

O'Reilly opened 10 new stores during the fourth quarter for a total of 40 new stores opened during the year. During the first quarter of 1998, O'Reilly closed Jan. 27 its the acquisition of Hi-Lo Automotive Inc., which will add 189 stores in Texas, Louisiana and California, and a 375,000-square-foot distribution center in Houston, Texas, the release stated.

"In addition, we plan to open 50 new stores in 1998 and approximately 80 new stores in 1999 as part of our accelerated growth plans," David O'Reilly said.

The Hi-Lo acquisition will make O'Reilly one of the top 10 auto parts chains in the country. "Like O'Reilly, Hi-Lo has been successful in pursuing a dual market strategy, and this fact, combined with their complementary geographic location, offers our company and our team members many excellent opportunities," O'Reilly added.

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