Genuine Parts Company reported its 2021 fourth quarter and full-year fiscal results on Feb. 17, showing continued strong results at its industrial parts group — which does business as Motion (formerly Motion Industries) — ahead of its landmark $1.3 billion acquisition of Kaman Distribution Group on Jan. 4.
For the October-December period, Motion saw Q4 sales of $1.61 billion, up 12.8 percent year-over-year and identical to Q3. It was powered by a 12.5 percent increase in comparable sales, while segment profit of $154 million likewise jumped 15.3 percent and profit margin of 15.3 percent ticked up 20 basis points. Sequentially, it was healthy margin expansion from Q3's 10.3 percent and Q2's 9.5 percent.
In North America, GPC said Motion's sales increased across virtually all product categories and industries served as customers continue to operate at higher run rates. Motion's value-add business continued to expand in focused areas of automation, conveyance and repairs, and distribution centers/logistics.
For the full year, 2021 sales at Birmingham, AL-based Motion totaled $6.33 billion, up 11.4 percent over 2020, while segment profit of $595 million jumped 23.5 percent.
Going forward, GPC is forecasting Motion's 2022 full-year sales growth of 20 to 22 percent, which would largely be powered by the KDG acquisition.
GPC's Q4 presentation shared essentially the same strategic initiatives for its Industrial Group that it stated in its presentations throughout 2021, adding a note about integrating KDG:
- Omni-channel buildout to accelerate e-commerce growth
- Expand industrial services and solutions capabilities
- Strategic M&A to further boost products/services offering
- Strategically enhanced pricing and product category management
- Network optimization and automation to further improve productivity
- Integration of KDG
In GPC's automotive segment — operating as NAPA Auto Parts and accounting for 66 percent of total business — Q4 sales of $3.19 billion increased 13.0 percent year-over-year, powered by 10.6 percent improvement in comparable sales and a 2.8 percent benefit from acquisitions. Segment profit of $266 million increased 10.7 percent, while profit margin of 8.3 percent trailed the 8.5 percent of a year earlier and 8.8 percent of Q3.
For the full year, NAPA's 2021 sales totaled $12.54 billion, up 15.5 percent from 2020, while segment profit of $1.07 billion jumped 23.7 percent.
Going forward, GPC is forecasting NAPA's 2022 full-year sales growth of 4 to 6 percent.
"The double digit sales and earnings growth for the Automotive and Industrial businesses is a reflection of strong global demand and the diligent execution of our initiatives to accelerate growth and improve profitability," said Paul Donahue, GPC chairman and CEO. "The strength in Automotive was broad-based across our operations, with 13% sales comps in the U.S. and high-single digit sales comps in Canada, Europe and Australasia. Likewise, we had strong growth in both our North American and Australasian Industrial businesses, which drove the third consecutive quarter of double-digit comps for this segment."
Overall, GPC had total Q4 sales of $4.8 billion, up 13.0 percent year-over-year. Comparable sales were up 11.3 percent, while the company saw a 1.9 percent benefit from acquisitions. Q4 operating profit of $256 million topped the $172 million of a year earlier, while net profit had essentially identical figures. For the full year, GPC had total 2021 sales of $18.87 billion, up 14.1 percent from 2020. Operating profit of $899 million dwarfed the $163 million of 2020, while net profit was also $899 million and likewise dwarfed 2020's net loss of $29 million.
GPC is forecasting the total company 2022 full-year sales growth of 9 to 11 percent.
GPC ended 2021 with approximately 10,400 total locations, including about 700 warehouses, 200 distribution facilities and 9,500 retail stores. The company had approximately 52,000 employees worldwide.