Speedemissions, Inc. Issues Shareholder Update
ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Dec 18, 2013) - Speedemissions, Inc. (OTCQB: SPMI), a leading car care company providing vehicle emissions testing, safety inspections and light automotive repair operating 43 stores in the Atlanta, Houston, St. Louis and Salt Lake City markets and developer of CARbonga, the revolutionary automobile diagnostic mobile app, today announce a shareholder update from Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Rich Parlontieri.
To Our Valued Shareholders:
As we mark our 13th year in business, I'd like to provide you with a summary of 2013 and an overview of what we see for Speedemissions, Inc. in 2014.
What began as an idea with one emission testing store in one city has now reached 43 company-owned stores in four major cities; Atlanta, Houston, St. Louis and Salt Lake City. Our Company has grown to be a $7.3M vehicle emission/safety inspection business and more, having performed over 233,000 vehicle emissions tests this year alone for satisfied customers. Store growth has been and will continue to be achieved on two platforms, organic store development and acquisitions. We've worked to increase store revenue in our core business by carrying and selling those little items that can cause a safety and emissions test to fail. We carry a full line of light bulbs, windshield wipers and headlight restoration services, among other merchandise, in the Houston, St. Louis and Salt Lake City stores.
To add value and to diversify our business, the Company has expanded into the automotive technology market with the development of two Mobile apps: CARbonga (equips drivers with an auto diagnostic tool to troubleshoot their own car) and CARbonga-SRI (Safety/Recall & Technical Service Bulletin information or TSB).
CARbonga-SRI is designed to capture part of the annual 45 million used car buyer market. In a matter of seconds, our CARbonga-SRI app lets the buyer know whether the make and model they're thinking about buying is under a NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) mandated safety recall. Yearly, over 2.2 million of those recalled cars are never repaired and are being sold to unsuspecting buyers. Another critically valuable attribute of CARbonga-SRI is that it gives the potential buyer access to every TSB issued by the manufacturer such as safety problems and issues with a vehicle's engine, electrical equipment, and fuel systems, to name a few. This vital information file could help them if they have purchased a "lemon."
While we've made progress with our first generation of smart phone/tablet apps, there is still much to do as we continue to differentiate ourselves and our product offerings from our competitors. We're cautiously optimistic that the plans and integration initiatives which we're working on to better monetize our technology will yield meaningful results next year.
Next, we piloted the idea of expanding our business plan and adding a new revenue channel by not only testing emissions, but also providing on-site emission repair, as well other light automotive repair. Our first "emissions repair" store in Atlanta has performed above our projections. Thus, we have since opened a second Atlanta location along with one in Houston this past October. At this time, we're working on getting the model implemented in St. Louis and Salt Lake.
Based on this success, we've elected to expand this segment of our business in 2014 and use it as the foundation for the development of the SpeedEmissions Car Care Store franchise model. Not only will this be the focus of franchise sales in 2014, but more importantly, this new store concept, which we will announce in greater detail sometime in January, will move us into the $307 billion automotive aftermarket. Coupled with the Speedemissions existing markets, it will allow us to grow the company into more of the 22 states who have emission testing laws similar to those in our current trade areas.
In addition, as another means to grow the company and increase our footprint, this past summer we announced our plans to expand into a new market. Over the next 12-18 months, we expect to open 24 - 28 new vehicle emission testing stores in the parking lots of a major retailer across the country. This initiative of opening emission stores in high traffic areas will be similar to the opening of our first store in Peachtree City, GA. in the parking lot of a Kroger Supermarket. These stores will provide an easy, convenient way for shoppers to get their vehicle emission test done while patronizing all the retailers in the center. In line with our expanding revenue model, these new emission testing stores will also be selling a select amount of related automotive merchandise.
Operationally 2013 has presented us with some challenges. Due to store leases not being renewed, we lost our number two revenue and net income store in Atlanta. In addition, a similarly prosperous store in Salt Lake area was also lost due to non-renewal of a lease. Coupled with these store losses was a legislative revision to the safety inspection laws in Utah, which reduced our safety inspection business by 25%. These were big hits without question, and we have anticipated that these combined events will cause a reduction in revenue and net income for fiscal 2013.
However, we've haven't been in business for 13 years without having weathered a storm or two. So to mitigate the impact to both our revenue and bottom line drop, we made another acquisition in late October within the Atlanta market. As a result, we believe this acquisition should replace the lost revenue, as well as improve our net income, brought about from the closing of the aforementioned stores and the safety inspection law change.
Another step in our plan to return to profitability was the closing of four under-performing stores in the Houston market. We believe that these measures, along with continued reduction in both store operating expenses and our general and administrative expenses, have provided financial improvements throughout the first three quarters of this year.
Now, let's talk about shareholder value, which is very important and a primary goal. Building shareholder value entails building a strong, sustainable and profitable company and effective communications with theinvestment community. The combination of these two items should in turn reward both new and long-term shareholders for their patience and understanding.
To assist us with this we recently retained ISD, Inc. to handle our investor and public relations. ISD has over 25 years' experience and specializes in working with small/micro cap companies. In the short time we have been working together they have helped us tell the Speedemissions story to a myriad of outlets, and we expect to continue these efforts throughout 2014.
Another step we've taken in getting us where we need to go is the hiring of an investment banking and financial advisory firm. Their task is simple and clear: assist Speedemissions with determining the best possible options for reaching our goals.
In closing, I want to give thanks to all of our 110 employees for their hard work, dedication and loyalty to the Company. To our shareholders, thank you for your continued support. To our consultants, thank you for your contributions and working with us. As a testament to our commitment to quality service and customer satisfaction, I would also like to express sincere thanks and appreciation to our over 233,000 customers who entrusted Speedemissions with their emissions testing needs in 2013.
Chief Executive Officer