Canadian Manufacturing

CEO of auto supplier Uni-Select retiring after 17 years

Chief operating officer Henry Buckley, who was hired last fall, will take over

MONTREAL—The head of Uni-Select is retiring this summer after 17 years with the auto parts supplier, the last seven as president and CEO.

Chief operating officer Henry Buckley, who was hired last fall, will take over from Richard Roy effective Aug. 1, the company said Thursday.

The change in leadership comes as the Quebec-based company is preparing to close the sale by June of its U.S. parts distribution operations to an affiliate of Icahn Enterprises for US$340 million.

Uni-Select beat analyst expectations despite swinging to a US$82.3-million loss in the first quarter from an $8.39 million profit a year earlier.

The results included US$139 million in restructuring, impairment and transaction charges. Excluding the one-time items, earnings for the period ended March 31 increased three per cent to US$10 million. That equalled 47 cents per share, up from US$9.7 million or 46 cents per share a year earlier.

Sales fell slightly to US$411.7 million, due mainly to the weaker Canadian dollar.

Uni-Select was expected to earn US$8.3 million or 42 cents per share in adjusted profits on US$410.2 million in sales, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The lower loonie reduced sales by $11 million and cut one cent from adjusted profits.

Roy said the quarter was a time of transition as the company started the year confident it could grow revenues by attracting new customers.

“The somewhat lower growth achieved during the quarter was mainly due to the timing of delayed seasonal maintenance . . . in many of our markets compared to 2014,” he said.

Following the sale of its U.S. business, Uni-Select intends to strengthen its Canadian operations and FinishMaster, a distributor of automotive paints and coatings in the United States.

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