XPEL Acquires French Distributor

XPEL, Inc. (XPEL) recently announced that it has agreed to acquire certain assets of France Auto Racing, a distributor of automotive paint protection film serving France.

“This acquisition will further enhance the development of the French market which we believe is highly underpenetrated for us and for the industry as a whole,” said Ryan Pape, XPEL CEO and president. “We have a track record of successfully combining our resources with local, experienced operators to achieve success in markets around the world and the team at France Auto Racing will help us do that in France.”

According to the company, the business will be run as a part of XPEL’s Netherlands-based European operation where it plans to add additional account management, training and customer service personnel. Additionally, XPEL will offer French-language training both onsite in France and at its Netherlands training center.

The terms were not disclosed and the closing is subject to customary conditions and is expected in the fourth quarter.

XPEL Posts 19% Revenue Growth

XPEL Inc. posted a 19% revenue increase in its most recent quarter, according to its financial report. Revenues increased 17.1% to $64.2 million compared to its second quarter 2019. Net income increased 14.7% to $5.6 million, according to its financial report.

“We’re very pleased to have achieved strong second quarter results even as the world continued to contend with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ryan Pape, president and CEO. “As we moved through the quarter, following early lockdown-related declines, we saw incredible top line resilience, led by the United States and China, which culminated in an all-time record revenue month in June. Early in the quarter, our team took swift action to manage through the crisis.”

According to the financial report, the company’s half-year revenues increased by 17.1% or $9.4 million to $64.2 million when directly compared to the $54.8 million in earned in the same period last year. XPEL’s gross margin was largely consistent at 34.3% compared to the first six months of 2019, according to its financial report.

“While the economy continues to face uncertainty related to future COVID-19 impacts, we are cautiously optimistic that our second quarter momentum will continue as we move through the rest of the year,” said Pape.

Brand Old Doing the Same Work on Brand New 2020 Vehicles

After over 31 years tinting and 15 years working with paint protection film (PPF), Chris Brooks, Kauffs Tint & Wraps owner, says nothing is too difficult for him.

“But every day is different,” Brooks says, “And that is what I like so much about my job is that I do the same thing every day, but not the same thing every day.”

That’s what Brooks says he loves most about his job: it is always new. Just like the brand new 2020 Tesla Y and Navigator for which he and his team did tinting, PPF and ceramic coatings this summer.

Tesla Y 2020

With the Tesla Y, Brooks says the only difference was that it was a brand new body style so they didn’t have a pattern already out, but since they cut both the tint and PPF in their shop it wasn’t much of a challenge. Brooks says nothing is hard for him anymore, it is just a little more time.

“Ten or 12 years ago I’d hurry up as fast as I could to get them out,” Brooks says. “Now I’ve gotten a little older and wiser and realized that you do things at a certain pace so that your customers trust you and that’s how you get to working on cars that are $200,000 up to boats that are millions.”

Brooks summed up that the Tesla Y and Navigator took about two days total to do all the tint, PPF and ceramic coatings. And according to Brooks, most Tesla models are fairly flat among other things that make the job easier and faster.
Because of his experience, Brooks says a $20-million boat doesn’t even phase him, but for someone who has never worked on a high-end car he says take a second to get some advice and asses the job before jumping head first into what could be a bad situation.

“There are so many people who pull door panels, and pull trim out, and pull glass out,” Brooks says, “I don’t think window tint was supposed to be done that way but a lot of people were shown to do it that way and think it’s the only way to do it. Twenty years ago was probably the last time I pulled a panel on a car.”

Brooks says he uses LLumar products for almost all of his jobs including both tint and PPF because he’s spent years using its products and likes its warranty policies.

Navigator 2020

Brooks has won several awards at the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Offs (WFCT), and will be participating as one of the judges for the competition at the 2021 event.

Kyra Thompson wrote this report.

NGS Announces New Acquisition

“We’ve been on an expansion movement for years and are looking for acquisitions that make sense,” said James Beale, NGS Films and Graphics (NGS) managing partner, as he described the company’s recent acquisition of Executive Window Tinting (EWT).

EWT is a 13-year old Dallas-based company that specializes in residential, commercial, decorative and safety window film sales and service. Beale said the EWT brand will eventually be absorbed into NGS over the coming months and that EWT founder Adam Palmer will work as a business development representative for the Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas markets.

Left to right: Adam Palmer former owner and founder of Executive Tinting and James Beale managing Partner NGS

According to Beale, this particular acquisition moved at the right pace, as he and Palmer have known each other and had a good relationship for years. “Half of the battle is finding a company that is who they say they are. This however, felt great to announce,” said Beale. He mentioned that both companies were aligned and there was not a lot of “back and forth” despite there being a lot of negotiations.

“We had an idea about what was going to be a good fit, we agreed and then we made it happen. I don’t mean to oversimplify it, but this transaction was very efficient and agreeable,” said Beale.

“While we’ve had a strong presence in Texas, this acquisition will help us gain greater proximity and serve the local market even better,” said Beale. “We are excited to continue our company’s trajectory of rapid growth — this time, through an acquisition.”

Looking to the Future

“The window film industry has been largely missed when it comes to brands absorbing other companies related to the business. Now we’re starting to see a trend in consolidation and I think it will continue,” explained Beale.

Editor’s note: NGS Films and Graphics has consistently appeared toward the top of WINDOW FILM magazine’s list of Top Window Film Dealers . Look to the upcoming September/October issue for the latest ranking. To see if your company qualifies email ttaffera@glass.com.

SBA PPP Email Scam

First Citizens Bank recently sent out a notice alerting businesses about a new phishing scam, which targets the Small Business Administration (SBA) PPP loan applicants.

“Criminals are impersonating the SBA and its office of disaster assistance, sending phishing emails that appear to be from the SBA,” a portion of the notice reads. “The emails create a sense of urgency for applicants to click on a link to verify their account. The link leads to a fake website that looks like an official SBA website where applicants are asked to sign in to their account.”

The bank advises all to protect personal information and not to click on links or respond to emails that ask you to log in to an account or provide personally identifiable information. If you suspect an email you’ve received is associated with an SBA scam, you can submit a complaint with the SBA office of inspector general by calling 800.767.0385.

If you’ve already encountered and responded to this phishing scam by providing your personal information, please contact the Fraud Central team at 866.567.7760.