Advance Auto Parts reports increased sales

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Advance Auto Parts, Inc. reported a 10.3 percent increase in total sales — to $1.6 billion —  for the first quarter, compared to $1.5 million for the same period last year. The bump in sales reflected the addition of 114 stores over the past year. Comparable-store sales rose by 8.2 percent, said the Roanoke-based company, a leading retailer of automotive parts and accessories. 

“Based on our first-quarter results, we remain confident in our strategic initiatives to accelerate growth and improve profitability,” CEO Darren R. Jackson said in a statement.

During the first quarter, Advance Auto closed four stores. It expects to close 40 to 55 unprofitable stores in 2009 as it continues an overall assessment of its real estate portfolio. The company says it is looking at profitability, cash flow, strategic market importance, stores sales potential and current lease rates.

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