Monro, Inc. recently announced its financial results for its first quarter, which ended June 26.
Sales for the first quarter of the fiscal year ending March 26, 2022 increased 38.4% to $341.8 million, as compared to $247.1 million for the first quarter of the fiscal year ending March 27, 2021. The total sales increase of $94.7 million for the first quarter resulted from a comparable store sales increase of 34.5% for the period and an increase in sales from new stores of $14.1 million, including sales from recent acquisitions of $13.6 million. In the prior-year period, Monro reported a decrease in comparable store sales of 25.8%, which the company said was due to a substantial decrease in traffic related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comparable store sales increased approximately 57% for brakes, 54% for alignments, 42% for maintenance services, 40% for front/end shocks and 25% for tires compared to the prior-year period.
Gross margin increased 140 basis points to 36.8% in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 from 35.4% in the prior-year period. The increase was due to higher comparable-store sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, which resulted in lower fixed distribution and occupancy costs as a percentage of sales, as well as a higher sales mix of service categories, compared to the prior-year period, the company says.
The remaining year-over-year dollar increase resulted from increased store management and advertising expenses needed to support higher consumer demand, as well as expenses from 44 net new stores compared to the prior-year period. The decrease in operating expenses as a percentage of sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 compared to the previous year period was due to an increase in comparable-store sales. Excluding litigation settlement costs, operating expenses for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 were 27.5% of sales.
Operating income for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 was $27.9 million, or 8.2% of sales, as compared to $11.4 million, or 4.6% of sales in the prior-year period. Excluding litigation settlement costs, operating income for the first quarter was $31.8 million, or 9.3% of sales.
During the first quarter of fiscal 2022, the company opened 30 company-operated stores and closed two stores. Monro ended the quarter with 1,291 company-operated stores and 91 franchised locations.