US largest auto parts retailer AutoZone reported a quarterly profit increase of 6.8%, surpassing analysts’ estimates.

As an increased number of customers in the US undertook vehicle repairs after a long winter, AutoZone’s profit during the third quarter surpassed analysts’ expectations. In February the company said that it expected increased profit in the second half of the fiscal year as the severe and prolonged winter will boost auto repairs.

During the third quarter gross margins increased 51.8% from 51.6% in the last fiscal year and sales were up 4.5% to $2.21 billion, according to analysts’ expectations. Net income reached $265.6 million ($7.27 per share) from $248.6 million ($6.28 per share) in the third quarter the previous fiscal year.

“While sales results for the quarter finished below our expectations, we were pleased to see noticeable improvements in our performance during the final four weeks of the quarter, specifically in our more recently challenged Northeastern and Midwestern markets,” said Chief Executive Bill Rhodes.

AutoZone ‘s performance has improved also due to the fact that the company opened new stores in Mexico and the US, increasing its commercial business. The retailer also plans to enter Brazil, which is the world’s 4th largest auto market, where it will open 15 stores in the following years.



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