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Uni-Select Inc. announced that, following the implementation of a number of action steps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, their operating performance was better than anticipated with sales for April and May as well as cash management better than the internal forecast set in late March in response to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. Uni-Select believes that all operating units have performed either in line with their respective markets or ahead.
“We are very proud of how the entire organization successfully implemented the actions required to deal with the impacts of the pandemic that hit all of us over the past three months, enabling us to adjust quickly, to continue to serve our customers and resulting in a much better performance than anticipated at the end of March,” said Brent Windom, president and CEO of Uni-Select Inc. “Strong cash management and a renegotiation of our credit facilities has ensured that we have the liquidity required to manage through this period and for the longer term. We are equally appreciative of the collaboration with our customers and suppliers as we work together through these changing times.”
The steps taken over the past few months have stabilized the businesses and are now allowing the company to focus their attention on a continuous improvement plan that was announced before the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan is based on a long-term approach to improving the productivity and efficiency of Uni-Select’s three businesses while ensuring that the needs of their customers remain the focus. The main objectives of the plan are to ensure that their customers are served to the highest standards, their operations and service model are positioned to meet the long-term demands and expectations of the markets in which they operate, and that the corporation continues to be a strong market leader while ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all parties. To accomplish these objectives, an in-depth review of the operations was undertaken by each business unit team, resulting in a number of key initiatives that will be implemented over the next several months, including the way they serve their customers, right-sizing where required, automation and supply chain logistics.
As previously reported, the performance improvement plan, which began in 2018 and was completed in Q1 2020, generated $53 million in annualized savings. Uni-Select expects the newly-implemented continuous improvement plan to generate a further $28 to $30 million in annualized savings. The company expects to record restructuring and other one-time charges of approximately $20 million in 2020 mainly due to right-sizing initiatives.
“Despite the challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis, the focus and commitment of our teams has been unwavering,” said Windom. “We could not be prouder of what we have accomplished so far, and we are confident we will deliver on the continuous improvement plan as we did with the previous plan.”
In the U.S., Uni-Select, through its wholly-owned subsidiary FinishMaster, Inc., operates a national network of over 175 automotive refinish company-owned stores under the FinishMaster banner, which supports over 30,000 customers annually and is the primary supplier to more than 5,500 collision repair centre customers.