A difficult trading environment to navigate
Following the Covid-19 outbreak the aftermarket faces a difficult period. The government’s decision to extend MoT’s due from 30 March onwards by 6 months is likely to reduce the number of tests taken this spring and summer, along with revenue from any essential repairs arising from the MoT itself.
In these uncertain times customers may also be tempted to skip their regular service, particularly with job security and future incomes under threat. However, what’s unlikely to change is their desire to be driving a safe and reliable car.
Why not offer a Free Vehicle Inspection to drive revenue?
A Free Vehicle Inspection enables your customers to ensure their vehicle is safe, with the potential to provide revenue from any urgent repairs or maintenance. For instance, previous research from Yuasa suggests that in normal circumstances 1 in 10 cars require a new battery, whilst past research from Comma showed almost half of all cars are low on oil. These are just two potential sources of revenue that a free vehicle inspection would identify.
Lockdown woes cause maintenance issues
The lockdown represents another reason your customers should be keen for their vehicle to be checked. An extended period of infrequent use, such as during the current lockdown, can have an adverse effect on many components.
Without proper care over time batteries can discharge, brakes may seize, tyres can develop flat spots and under bonnet fluids can degrade. The longer the lockdown continues, the greater the risk of component damage.
Download a Free Vehicle Inspection Sheet
The Parts Alliance have developed a free Vehicle Inspection Sheet, which can be downloaded below.
The checklist enables technicians to review a range of components including: tyres; brakes; lights; wiper blades; under bonnet fluids; battery and oil level. The condition of the various components can be marked red, amber or green, with those marked red requiring urgent attention. There’s also space on the sheet to provide an estimate for any remedial work.
Following this Free Vehicle Inspection Sheet can provide customers the peace of mind that their vehicle is roadworthy or highlight issues that require urgent attention.
Social Banners to promote this offer!
The Parts Alliance have produced a range of banners that can be used on your Facebook page and other social platforms. You can download these for free, should you choose to offer this service to your customers. See below for download link.
Free Vehicle Inspection Sheet
Provide your customers with peace of mind that their vehicle is in a roadworthy condition.
Social banners to promote this offer!
Promotional banners that can be used on your Facebook page and other social platforms.
During these uncertain times, it is important to understand the measures being made available to support your business. The following is a list of the measures which have been announced to date by the Government to provide immediate support for a wide range of businesses and individuals.
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
- Business Rates
- Rules and guidance for furloughed employees
- VAT deferred payments
- Negotiating a time to pay (‘TTP’) with HMRC
- Companies House filing extensions
- Other measures
- HMRC guidance links
- Useful links
The links at the end of this article should be used for latest updates.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme
The scheme has been extended to all viable small businesses which have been affected and not just those who could not secure regular commercial financing.
The existing and revised terms of the scheme are:
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is set to help those experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.
A business may still need to provide financial forecasts to support their application for a CBILS loan.
It is hoped that, with the changes, the application process will be more streamlined with funds available more quickly than has been the case up to now.
The main details of the CBILS scheme are as follows:
- It aims to support a “wide range” of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities. It provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee;
- The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5m, available on repayment terms of up to six years;
- The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding facility balance, subject to an overall cap per lender;
- There will be no guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme. However, the lenders may still charge fees;
- The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees;
- Finance terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years;
- There will be no requirement for personal guarantees from borrowers for lending facilities of £250,000 and under;
- Personal guarantees on loans over £250,000 are to be limited to just 20% of any amount outstanding on the lending after any other recoveries from business assets. The personal guarantees will exclude an individual’s principal private residence;
- The new regulations will also apply to any finance already offered under the scheme; and
- The borrower always remains liable for the repayment of the whole debt.
Smaller businesses from all sectors can apply for the full amount. To be eligible for support under CBILS, an SME must have a UK-based business activity, with turnover of no more than £45m per year.
A potential borrower must also have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the current pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty. The borrower must self-certify that their business has been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
CBILS is available through the British Business Bank’s 40+ accredited lenders and partners.
In the first instance, businesses should approach their existing bank – preferably via the lender’s website. They may also consider approaching other lenders if they are unable to access the finance they need from their existing finance provider.
In the Budget, Mr Sunak announced that businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, with a rateable value of less than £51,000, will pay no business rates this year. Garages and MOT centres are not in this case currently classed as retail and this is being discussed by industry associations with the government currently. Non- retail business should check for updates regarding their businesses classification.
The government will now provide an additional £2.2 billion funding for local authorities to support small businesses with the following measures available:
- Those businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 per business;
- Every shop, pub, theatre, music venue, restaurant – and any other business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector – will pay no business rates for 12 months regardless of size, and if they have a rateable value of less than £51,000, they can now get a cash grant; and
- Cash grants of up to £10,000 will also be available to small business which qualify for the small business rates relief or rural rate relief.
Rules and guidance for furloughed employees
Furloughed members of staff must not work for the employer during the period of furlough.
Furlough is from 1 March 2020, so is to be backdated. It will last for at least 3 months and will be extended if necessary. Note that while the scheme is backdated to the beginning of March as it is intended to support all those employed then, a firm will only be eligible to claim the grant once they have agreed the furlough with their staff and staff have stopped working for the employer. This will of course be subject to employment law in the usual way.
The scheme is available for employees on the payroll at 28 February 2020.
All UK businesses are eligible, ‘any employer on the country, small or large, charitable or non-profit’ to use the Chancellor’s words.
The scheme pays a grant (not a loan) to the employer.
The grant will be paid to the employer through a new online system which is being built for this purpose. The online service is expected to be available at the end of April. Claims will have to wait until it is available.
The employer will pay the employee through payroll, and report payments to HMRC using the Real Time Information (RTI) system as usual, as required by the employment contract. This contract may be re-negotiated, but that is a matter for employment law.
The scheme will be administered by HMRC:
- Relevant employees must be designated as furloughed employees.
- Employers will submit claims to HMRC through a new online portal.
- As the system will take time to build, businesses should look to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support cash flow in the meantime. The narrative used in the information released so far says ‘if your employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19 they may be able to access support…’. This is a conditional phrase which may relate to existing funds available to the employer. We do not yet know how these might be determined, nor whether there is a bar of some description.
The maximum grant will be calculated per employee and is the lower of:
- 80% of ‘an employee’s regular wage’ and £2,500 per month.
- Plus the associated employers’ national insurance contributions (NIC) on this amount and the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.
- Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included.
- This gives a maximum cap of £2,500 + £245 (employers’ NIC) + £59 (auto- enrolled pension contribution) = £2,804 of total possible grant that can be applied for per employee per month.
VAT deferred payments
HMRC have allowed all companies/individuals to defer VAT payments from 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. This will equate to one quarter’s VAT.
All quarterly payments which would have been made on or after 7 April, 7 May and 7 June or the monthly payments for these dates can be deferred.
This will occur automatically and no application is required.
VAT returns are still required to be submitted by the due date in this period.
HMRC cannot cancel Direct Debit payments, therefore companies will need to cancel their Direct Debit if they wish to take advantage of the deferral.
The current guidance is that the unpaid liability will have to be paid by the end of the tax year; for unincorporated businesses this will be 5 March 2021 and for companies 31 March 2021.
VAT refunds will still be paid as normal.
Negotiating a time to pay (‘TTP’) with HMRC
The following points are relevant for taxpayers approaching HMRC on the dedicated helpline (0800 0159 559) to secure a TTP agreement:
- Taxpayers should contact HMRC as soon as they anticipate difficulty making a payment – but not more than 2 weeks before the payment is due;
- All tax returns should be up to date;
- Taxpayers should have cash flows, forecasts and a statement of assets available as support for their TTP proposal;
- Taxpayers should make a clear and affordable proposal to HMRC for them consider;
- HMRC may ask questions, but these may now be less onerous than in the past simply because of the pressing need to help businesses;
- HMRC staff have authority to agree a TTP over 12 months. For amounts over £100,000 escalation within HMRC may be necessary;
- No deal is better than an unaffordable deal. If HMRC will not accept a proposal, taxpayers should not agree one which they cannot afford – failure to keep to a TTP agreement can be problematic. If no TTP can be agreed taxpayers should simply pay what they can and keep paying other tax liabilities;
- If a TTP is agreed there will be no late payment penalties; and
- With a TTP interest is still due on the delayed payments. This may be amended as the economic situation develops.
- The support will be 80% of monthly profits, averaged over three years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19;
- It will be capped at £2,500 per month for three months (i.e., up to £7,500 in total), but this may be extended;
- It is only available if average annual taxable earnings are below £50,000;
- The majority of income has to be from self-employment;
- Unlike furloughed employees, the individual can continue to operate the business;
- Those who started self-employment after 5 April 2019 are excluded;
- HMRC will contact those eligible and then ask them to apply online;
- HMRC is allowing those who have yet to file their tax return for 2018/19 an additional four weeks to file and get up to date; and
- The scheme will be available from the beginning of June 2020, effectively back-dated three months to 1 March 2020, and paid in one lump sum.
Companies House filing extensions
Companies House have issued the following guidance for companies.
If, immediately before the filing deadline, it becomes apparent that your accounts will not be filed on time due to your company being affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19), you may make an application to obtain an immediate and automatic 3 month extension to the filing date.
The application needs to completed online via the Companies House online filing system.
To complete the application you will need:
- The entity’s Companies House number;
- An email address for correspondence with Companies House;
- Reasons for the extension; and
- If necessary, any documents supporting your application.
However, companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period, may not be eligible for an extension.
If you do not apply for an extension and your accounts are filed late an automatic penalty will be imposed by Companies House.
- Universal Credit will be increased by £1,000 per annum for the next twelve months. The Working Tax Credit will be boosted by the same amount. This will bring both into line with Statutory Sick Pay.
- The self-employed were left largely unsupported by the new support initiatives with only the Universal Credit of £94 per week for them to fall back on.
- Support for rental costs will be paid through Universal Credit.
- The IR35 changes planned for implementation on 6 April 2020 have been deferred for a year.
- In a further effort to support pubs and restaurants, planning rules will be relaxed so pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.
- The self-assessment payment due by 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021;
- No penalties or interest will be levied in this deferral period; and
- No claim will be necessary, this will happen automatically and will apply to all taxpayers who are due to make a payment in July 2020.
Statutory Sick Pay
- Paid from the first day of absence, not the fourth, where people have the virus or have to self-isolate, or care for such people.
- Support through Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance for self-employed people and others not entitled to SSP.
- Full funding of the cost of two weeks’ SSP for small and medium-sized employers whose workers have claimed SSP as a result of coronavirus.
The firsts link below gives detail of all the various initiatives which have been announced.
Better Business Finance provides impartial information and support to businesses and entrepreneurs looking to develop and grow; whether the business is seeking finance, or starting out or exporting abroad, BBF is here to help.
Covid-19 support from UK Finance, a collective voice for the banking and finance industry.
NACFB – find a regulated broker
Covid-19 Fraud issues – visit Take Five for business to learn more
Garages should contact their existing professional advisers with any queries or follow-up questions.
Marketing in the traditional sense is not particularly top of our mind as we struggle to come to terms with what’s happening personally and to our businesses. However, there are tips we can share on marketing activity you can undertake during Covid-19.
Short-term marketing is typically for 3 months. Whilst we hope its sooner, many experts believe this is the timeframe we’re facing before life returns to a semblance of normality. Through this quieter trading period, there’s plenty of marketing activities garages can consider and implement.
Focus on your existing customers
Whether you remain open or closed, think about how to stay connected with your customers
- Let them know if you’re intending to stay open.
- Inform them why you are open or indeed closed.
- Remind them about the essential services that you can provide and why they are still needed.
Many of your most loyal customers may be keen to support your business during the coronavirus outbreak, so ensure they know you remain open if that’s the case. By keeping them informed, you remind them of your business and why they’ve used you in the past.
Additionally, whilst MoT’s have been extended by 6 months, it’s important your customers appreciate their car must still be roadworthy. In particular key workers will still be regularly using their cars and these should be safe to drive.
How to Communicate
Now is the time to embrace all means of communicating, not just traditional marketing to keep connected. These include:
- Social Media
- Traditional Post
Clear communication is key in times of crisis, but it should always be relevant to the audience and useful to them.
Social media is one of the easiest means to keep connected and so now is the time to embrace Facebook if you haven’t done so already. Facebook posts are quick to create and most of your customers will be regular users of this social media giant.
Emails are a good means to get a direct message to your customer, whilst it’s good practice to review your website and update with any key messages during this time. Finally, for a more personal communication traditional mail is a good option – a letter is likely to be opened and read.
Social Media Tips
This is not a master class, but we will touch on some basic tips for those that haven’t previously used social media much. Firstly, Facebook is the most used and the only one you need to focus on.
- Use Facebook
- Quality rather than quantity
- Link into the local community via their Facebook pages
- Provide tips and guidance
- Use unique online offers.
- We have created a selection of useful banners that you can use on Facebook – click here to download.
If you have a good email list and it is GDPR compliant (more on this later) then email is an ideal method for contacting your customers directly. Emails are relatively cheap and easy to produce and can be customised to different customers. If you intend to send a lot then it is best to use an email platform, such as Mailchimp.
To improve the effectiveness of your emails, they should be:
- Relevant to your customers.
- Tailored to the individual and what they will need to know.
- Easy to read – friendly, simple and to the point.
- Timely – don’t overdo, no one likes too many emails.
- GDPR compliant, so follow the correct rulings regarding GDPR, which essentially means only emailing customers that are eligible (opted for emails or legitimate interest) and being transparent with the data you hold and why you hold it. Finally having a good opt-out option. More can be found about GDPR on the ICO’s website.
What to talk about:
With so much happening it is hard to have all the answers, but there is still a lot you can communicate to your customers. We have pulled together a few examples, if you have some other ideas please share with us and your fellow garages.
With MOT’s from March 30 onwards being extended for 6 months, some vehicles won’t receive an MOT for 18 months. You could update your customers on the fact that any vehicle on the road still needs to be roadworthy and safe.
Contactless Collection and Drop Off
If you have the means, providing a contactless collection and drop off service is a great service to provide during the current Covid-19 outbreak. This involves picking your customers vehicle from an agreed location, completing the work and then returning it back, whilst observing social distancing. Credit card payment can be taken remotely, with the receipt/invoice included in the vehicle or sent separately.
Safety and Car Clean Down
We all know the interior is not always the cleanest area, so staff and customers need to be protected at this time. It is important to note and inform your customers on what precautions you are taking, cleaning the car on collection and cleaning after work carried out and what PPE your staff are wearing throughout. We have a poster and handy checklist on this at www.ThePartsAlliance.com/covid-19
Free Safety Check
For those customers intending to delay their MOT following the government extension, why not offer them a free visual check, that covers all the essentials? Naturally this won’t be as thorough as an MOT, but it could identify any issues that need addressing and provide your customers with peace of mind until their next MOT. An example visual inspection sheet can be downloaded here
If customers are tightening their purse strings, you could offer them 0% finance through a provider such as Auto Service Finance, so they can spread the cost of any service and maintenance work. We have the option to link you with ASF which would allow you to offer your customer 0% finance to pay their bill.
Parts Alliance Business Support: https://www.thepartsalliance.com/covid-19/
Mailchimp Email Marketing Platform: https://mailchimp.com/
Electronic mail marketing & GDPR: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-pecr/electronic-and-telephone-marketing/electronic-mail-marketing/
ASF 0% Finance Expression of Interest Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeFs5m9mCb7eaR0Aj2rvextGuERRZSwFdxhztLi6Ny_mbHT7Q/viewform
Many of our customers –
both independent garages and national chains – are offering a critical service
in keeping the UK’s key workers operational and on the road during these
unprecedented times and we are here to support them.
Our network of branches remains
open to provide customers with the parts they need to provide this vital
In some cases, we have
temporarily closed our branches in order to minimise the risk of spreading the
Coronavirus while maintaining our service to customers. All our branch phone
numbers remain operational and calls to closed sites will be automatically
redirected to nearby alternative branches.
Our supply chain and
distribution network have also been remodelled to reduce deliveries and address
this balance, and we have made some important changes to how our Drivers
deliver products to customers in order to ensure everyone’s safety.
This balance between
operating safely while delivering on our social responsibility to continue servicing
garages supporting key workers is crucial. Our specialist support teams,
currently working remotely from home, are helping to ensure our business adapts
quickly to an operating environment that changes by the day.
This is not business as
usual, but just as the precautions we all take around hygiene each day could
help to save lives, the actions we’re taking now as a business will help our
customers and us to work through this crisis together.
The impact of the COVID-19 global crisis is affecting us
all. Through this crisis The Parts
Alliance will work hard to support our customers to ensure you have the parts
you need, as soon as you need them.
Keeping Branches open and safe
The Parts Alliance puts the health and safety of our
colleagues and customers as our top priority and we have taken precautions
across our network to ensure both our people and our business are working
safely and responsibly, following all Government and NHS guidance and acting
quickly in response to this developing situation.
We have strengthened our hygiene practices in every site,
communicating best practice to all team members and providing them with the products
and equipment they need to remain hygienic.
Our specialist support teams, field-based team members and
those who travel frequently for work have restricted their movements to
essential journeys only, working from home and teleconferencing to reduce contact.
For our Drivers, we have provided anti-bacterial wipes and
hand sanitiser in their vehicles for use between deliveries, ensuring our teams
are minimising the risk to you while maintaining service.
Supporting your business
All our sites and distribution centres remain open and
operational as normal. Over recent months we secured additional stock to maintain good
service levels and, at this time, no interruptions to our parts supply have
action was taken at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak to reduce the risk
of delay in our supply chain and we remain in constant contact with both
overseas manufacturers and our national brand supply partners.
Keeping you up to date
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and will share any relevant developments with you. You can find the latest news from The Parts Alliance at thepartsalliance.com/covid-19
assured that we are doing all we can to protect you and our team members,
but please get in touch with your local branch in the meantime if you have any
questions or concerns.
These are uncertain and unprecedented times, but we are here
to support you and your business.
The Parts Alliance today announced its long-term partnership with Petronas Lubricants International as its supplier of premium oil.
“Petronas has immense potential for our
branches and we are thrilled to be partnering with this globally renowned brand
to offer our aftermarket customers an outstanding premium range,” said Paula
Huesca de Crean, Group Commercial Director of The Parts Alliance.
“We are committed to ensuring the products we
offer our customers are at the forefront of quality, reliability and innovation,
which is why Petronas is a perfect fit for The Parts Alliance.”
Petronas first established its presence in the United Kingdom in 2008 through PLI, its global lubricants manufacturing and marketing arm. Since then it has doubled its lubricants sales over the 12 years of operations in the country.
Samet Erensoy, PLI Head of Central and
Northern Europe, said: “The Parts Alliance is a highly respected motoring parts
distributor and we believe in partnerships that share a common ground –
delivering value through innovative products that are in line with advances in
automotive technology and solutions tailored for the independent aftermarket.
“That is what makes The Parts Alliance an
ideal partner to help us achieve our ambitious goal.”
· Financing provides flexibility to pursue growth opportunities
· 9.5% shareholder Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc. affirms confidence in Uni-Select’s current strategic plan by acting as lead investor
Boucherville (Québec), December 18, 2019 – Uni-Select Inc. (TSX:UNS) (“Uni-Select” or the “Corporation”) is pleased to announce the completion of a private placement offering of C$125 million principal amount of convertible senior subordinated unsecured debentures (“Debentures”) (“Offering”).
Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc. (“Birch Hill”), as shareholder and lead investor in the Offering, subscribed for C$75 million principal amount of Debentures. The remaining C$50 million was purchased by institutional investors following a private marketing approach.
“With this investment, a group which includes some of our largest shareholders are demonstrating their confidence in our team, our strategy, and the direction we’re taking to drive long-term value, as we continue to yield tangible cost savings and sustainable profitability improvement from our Performance Improvement Plan,” said Brent Windom, President and Chief Executive Officer of Uni-Select Inc. and President and Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Automotive Group.
Uni-Select intends to use the net proceeds from the Offering to reduce borrowings under its senior debt credit facility and to pursue strategic growth opportunities.
RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets acted as co-agents and bookrunners on the Offering and National Bank Financial Markets acted as financial advisor to Birch Hill.
Conclusion of the Strategic Review Process
In September 2018, the Corporation announced that its Board of Directors (“Board”) had formed a Special Committee of independent members of the Board (“Special Committee”) to oversee a review of strategic alternatives with the goal of maximizing value for shareholders. Through this process, which included the review and evaluation of a number of alternatives, the Board has determined that modifying the capital structure with this financing and positioning the Corporation to pursue identified growth opportunities is the best alternative for maximizing value for shareholders. The Board and the Corporation remain open to evaluating future opportunities that align with its business strategies and enhance shareholder value.
Convertible Debentures Financing Details
The Debentures are being offered at a price of C$1,000 per C$1,000 principal amount of Debenture and will bear interest at a rate of 6.0% per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears on June 18 and December 18 commencing on June 18, 2020. The Debentures will mature on December 18, 2026 and will be convertible at the holder’s option into common shares of the Corporation (“Common Shares”) at a conversion price of C$13.57 per Common Share (the “Conversion Price”), representing a conversion rate of 73.69 Common Shares per C$1,000 principal amount of Debentures.
Uni-Select has granted Birch Hill certain governance rights in connection with its investment, including the right to designate two nominees on the board of directors, a pre-emptive right to maintain its pro rata ownership, and customary registration rights.
Appointment of Directors
Uni-Select is pleased to announce the appointment of David G. Samuel and Matthew B. Kunica as directors of the Corporation effective January 1, 2020.
Mr. Samuel joined Birch Hill in 2005. He is Chairman of Groupe Distinction Inc. and serves on the boards of directors of Cozzini Bros, Inc. and Softchoice Corp. Prior to joining Birch Hill, Mr. Samuel had over 15 years of experience in private equity, operations, consulting and investment banking. Mr. Samuel’s experience includes serving as President, Rogers Cable (High Speed Internet Access) and working at McKinsey & Company and Morgan Stanley.
Mr. Kunica joined Birch Hill in 2003 and currently serves on the Boards of CCM Hockey, HomeEquity Bank and Bio Agri Mix. He has played a key role in Birch Hill’s investments in a diverse cross section of companies. Prior to joining Birch Hill, Mr. Kunica worked in the investment banking groups of both Credit Suisse First Boston and BMO Nesbitt Burns in Toronto.
Effective January 1, 2020, the Board of Directors of the Corporation will be composed of nine members and one vacancy which is expected to be used to add a new member and increase diversity before our next annual shareholder meeting.
“I wish to take this opportunity to thank David Bibby, Jeff Hall, George Heath, Dennis Welvaert and Michael Wright for their invaluable contributions to Uni-Select,” said Michelle Cormier, Chair of the Board of the Corporation. They will be leaving the Board effective January 1, 2020.
Impairment Loss on a Portion of the Goodwill
While Uni-Select is taking meaningful action to confront a series of headwinds in Europe, due to market softness and uncertainties surrounding Brexit, the Corporation will be recording a non-recurring, non-cash goodwill impairment charge between US$45 million and US$50 million, related to a portion of the goodwill of its operations in the U.K. This impairment will be reflected in the Corporation’s upcoming Q4 and year-end financial statements.
Uni-Select is a leader in the distribution of automotive refinish and industrial paint and related products in North America, as well as a leader in the automotive aftermarket parts business in Canada and in the UK. Uni‑Select is headquartered in Boucherville, Québec, Canada, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol UNS.
In Canada, Uni-Select supports over 16,000 automotive repair and collision repair shops through a growing national network of more than 1,100 independent customers and over 70 company-owned stores, many of which operate under the Uni-Select BUMPER TO BUMPER®, AUTO PARTS PLUS® AND FINISHMASTER® store banner programs. It also supports over 3,900 shops through its automotive repair/installer shop banners, as well as through its automotive refinish banners.
In the United States, Uni-Select, through its wholly owned subsidiary FinishMaster, Inc., operates a national network of over 180 automotive refinish company-owned stores under the FINISHMASTER banner which services a network of over 30,000 customers annually, of which it is the primary supplier to over 6,800 collision repair centre customers.
In the UK and Ireland, Uni-Select, through its Parts Alliance group of subsidiaries, is a leading distributor of automotive parts supporting over 23,000 customer accounts with a network of 180 company-owned stores.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Certain statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements. These statements include, without limitation, the expected cost savings in relation to the Performance Improvement Plan and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the words assumption, goal, guidance, objective, outlook, project, strategy, target and other similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as aim, anticipate, believe, could, expect, intend, may, plan, seek, should, strive and will. All such forward‑looking statements are made pursuant to the “safe harbour” provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws.
Forward-looking statements are, by their very nature, subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions, both general and specific, which may cause expressed expectations to be significantly different from those listed or implied within this press release and our business outlook, objectives, plans and strategic priorities may not be achieved. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize, and we caution you against relying on any of these forward‑looking statements. The forward‑looking information contained herein is made as of the date of this press release, and Uni-Select does not undertake to publicly update such forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise, unless required by applicable securities laws. Forward‑looking statements are presented in this press release for the purpose of assisting investors and others in understanding certain key elements of our expected 2019 financial results, as well as our objectives, strategic priorities and business outlook for 2019, and in obtaining a better understanding of our anticipated operating environment. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.