Genuine Parts profit off because of currency headwinds

Profit for Atlanta-based Genuine Parts fell 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter as the company was challenged by currency headwinds.

Net income was $161.3 million in the quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2015. That compared to $165.6 million recorded for the same period in 2014, the company said Tuesday.

Sales for the operator of NAPA Auto chain were also off about 4 percent, down from $3.82 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 to $3.68 billion during the same period in 2015. Earnings per share was $1.07 in both comparable quarters.

“As we entered the fourth quarter we had anticipated a challenging sales environment,” Genuine chairman and chief executive officer Tom Gallagher said in a release. “That said, we are pleased with the positive underlying sales growth in our automotive business as well as the solid industry fundamentals supporting our growth initiatives.”

When the currency impact is taken out, the company’s sales improved, Gallagher said. For instance, automotive group sales were down 2 percent because of a 5 percent currency headwind. But core growth was up 2.5 percent with slight growth from acquisitions.

Genuine also elected new officers on Tuesday. Scott W. LeProhon was named executive vice president of Global Procurement and Gregory N. Miller was named senior vice president and Chief Information Officer.

Charles A. Chesnutt was selected to replace Frank Howard as the company’s treasurer (Howard is retiring) and Lee A. Maher was named president and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Automotive Parts Group.