EDMONTON, Alberta -

As the company prepared to share its 2016 used- and new-vehicle sales totals, AutoCanada announced late on Thursday that Thomas Orysiuk is resigning from his position as president and as a member of the company’s board of directors.

The dealer group said Orysiuk’s resignation as president and director is effective on Friday, and AutoCanada chief executive officer Steven Landry would assume the role of president and CEO.

“On behalf of the board of directors, we sincerely thank Tom for his many years of dedicated service as an officer and director of AutoCanada — and particularly in this year of transition,” Landry said. “We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

The executive action coincided with AutoCanada releasing its fourth-quarter and full-year financial statement, which included reports of annual revenue and gross profit staying nearly flat year-over-year.

The company said revenue from existing and new dealerships came in at $2.89 billion in 2016, down slightly from the 2015 figure of $2.90 billion. Its gross profit from existing and new dealerships remained flat at $486.1 million in 2016, as a year earlier it was $487.7 million.

Looking at how the dealer group moved metal, AutoCanada reported that its 55 stores retailed a total 19,561 used vehicles in 2016, down slightly from the 2015 total of 20,342 used units. On the new-model side, AutoCanada said its combination of retail and fleet transactions resulted in a sum of 40,032 units last year; that’s down by 2,425 units year-over-year.

“Fiscal 2016 capped off the second consecutive year where our core markets faced deteriorating business conditions. However, wherever there are challenges there are also opportunities, and I believe AutoCanada is well-positioned to execute on its strategy and create value for shareholders,” Landry said.

“We are responding to economic conditions in our key markets by focusing on market share, operating expenses, accretive acquisitions, and delivering consistent performance across all of our dealerships,” he continued.

Contained within the company’s outlook for 2017, AutoCanada said it plans to spend approximately $30.9 million on dealership relocations and expansions.

“We are under construction on the relocation of Audi Winnipeg, which we anticipate will lead to increased customer traffic and sales. We also plan to begin construction on two new open-point locations in Calgary and Ottawa,” the company said.

AutoCanada went on to mention its five-year capital spending outlook is approximately $145.3 million.

“This level of spending, along with the company’s current dividend commitments, are expected to be balanced with internally generated cash flow,” AutoCanada said.

AutoCanada also announced that it has executed an agreement with its syndicated lending partners to amend and restate its $250 million revolving credit facility while extending the maturity date of the agreement by two years to May 2020.

Although there were no changes to the composition of lenders included in the syndicate, AutoCanada indicated HSBC and RBC will co-lead the agreement while HSBC will retain its position as sole book-runner and agent.

Under the terms of the new agreement, AutoCanada pointed out there are no changes to the $250 million borrowing limit or debt covenants although modifications have been made to the facility pricing grid, which the company anticipates will allow for more effective management of financing charges.

“Despite the sustained economic challenges of the past two years, this new agreement highlights the unwavering confidence our lending partners, HSBC, RBC and ATB, have in AutoCanada and their continued support for the growth and success of our company,” AutoCanada chief financial officer Chris Burrows said. 

“We believe that this agreement will allow us to continue to pursue and implement our strategic vision and underlines the strength of our relationships with our valued financing partners,” Burrows added.

Dealer performance will be one of the many topics discussed, as there are more than 100 people from 74 different dealerships registered for the Auto Remarketing Canada Conference, which will be held April 3-4 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

And the list has been growing steadily, say conference organizers.

If you’d like to connect with these folks, make sure you register for the conference today.