Wednesday, 25 June 2014 21:49

CARSTAR Enjoys Record Revenue in 2013, Plans Expansion of HQ in Leawood, KS

CARSTAR brought in a company record $641 million in revenue in 2013, an increase from its $603 million in revenue in 2012. CEO David Byers said the company's 2013 same-store sales were up by 17 percent from 2012 and Carstar added 45 more locations to its multishop operator network in the United States and Canada. Byers said the unusually poor winter weather, which lasted well into 2014, and the increasing complexity and cost of repairs to automobiles buoyed the company in 2013. He expects the company's strong same-store sales to drive the company to record revenue and store additions in 2014.

“We expect to break the records from last year again in 2014,” Byers said. “Based on the fact that we're seeing that 17 percent same-store sales number, that's an indication that the business and the industry is performing extremely well and we have no reason to believe that that is going to subside in the second half of the year.”

With increased revenue, Carstar is looking to add new senior staff. Byers said the company is recruiting a new chief information officer and a new vice president of business development. It is also looking to add new technical resources at its new headquarters at the Pinnacle IV building in Leawood. It relocated from Overland Park in December 2013.

Byers said Carstar chose to locate its call center in existing Canadian operation instead of building a new call center in the Kansas City area. Byers said the continuing consolidation of the collision repair industry positions his company well for long-term growth. Over the last decade, Byers said, the number of independently-owned collision repair centers dropped to 35,000 from 80,000. He said the flow of private equity money—Carstar is owned by San Francisco-based private equity management firm Champlain Capital Partners LP—encourages independent shops to sell or join a larger franchising company. “(Independent shops) have two choices: they can sell to one of the consolidators or ... they can join a franchise network like us. Those are really the only two choices they have,” Byers said. “We find we're in a very good growth position because, as the industry continues to contract and consolidate.”