Volume 13, Issue 6 - November/December 2011

International Issues

Belron Reports 1.7 Percent Drop in Sales for First Half of Year

Belron’s parent company D’Ieteren reported a 1.7 percent drop in external sales for the first half of the year for the worldwide auto glass repair and replacement company, as part of its first half-year 2011 report.

The company attributes the drop, down from approximately $2.15 billion (USD) to approximately $2.11 billion, to milder winter weather, “compared to an exceptional 2010 and weak economic conditions,” along with 0.9 percent adverse currency translation. On the positive side, Belron reports a 0.8 percent increase in sales due to acquisitions as part of its external sales report.

Overall, for the first half of the year, the company reports that 54 percent of its jobs throughout the world were done on a mobile basis, while 46 percent where completed in-shop. Replacements comprised 71 percent of Belron’s worldwide job completion, compared with 29 percent repairs. Belron reports that 57 percent of its entire worldwide sales came from the European market, with the other 43 percent coming from throughout the rest of the world. D’Ieteren reports that throughout the world Belron completed 6 million jobs, compared with 6.3 million for the first half of 2010—a 5.3 percent drop.

Belron’s worldwide operating result for the first half of the year is reported at $178.1 million, down 13.8 percent from $215.3 million for the first half of last year. Company officials attribute the overall drop to the decline in sales volumes “compared to an exceptional first half of 2010 and its impact on margins, persistent difficult market conditions in Brazil, the costs of additional capacity in the United States as well as increased marketing investments in some countries, partially offset by lower long-term executive incentive scheme costs.”

In other news at Belron, the company announced in July that it plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 30 percent and reduce the amount of glass it sends to landfills to zero by 2015. The announcements were made with the publication of the company’s first corporate responsibility report.

Currently, Belron officials say the company recycles approximately 58 percent of the windshields it replaces.

National Mobile Windscreens to Expand Distribution Center
United Kingdom-based National Mobile Windscreens is in the process of enlarging its distribution center at its St. Philips, Bristol, headquarters. The expansion will add 14,000 square feet to the existing 8,000-square-foot warehouse and is expected to cost approximately $1.6 million dollars (USD).

“The phenomenal increase in our volume of business means that additional warehouse space is now urgently required,” says company chair George Douglas. “The need for this additional space is testament to the hard work, dedication and contribution by all the staff to the continued growth of our company.”

Auto Windscreens Receives High Customer Service Ranking for Call Centers

Auto Windscreens’ call center was ranked second in the United Kingdom out of the top 50 for customer service at an event in September. The rankings were provided by GfK Mystery Shopping, according to a release from Auto Windscreens.

The company also was named “Best Newcomer” and “Best Service Provider.”

To achieve the ranking, Auto Windscreens was assessed over a three-month period on its response to more than 100 customer emails and more than 200 phone calls.

“This excellent result is testament to every member of our call center team, who is always ready to go the extra mile for our customers,” says contact center manager Claire Church. “Auto Windscreens’ focus is total customer satisfaction and this accolade shows that’s just what we are achieving.”

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