Financial Briefs 3/12/19

• For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2018, the Penske Automotive Group reported $536.30 million in service and parts revenue from its retail automotive operations — an increase of 3.7 percent over the same period a year ago. On a same-store basis, service and parts revenue grew 3.9 percent, with customer-pay revenue up 4.3 percent and body shop revenue down 4.3 percent. Service and parts gross profit increased 3.1 percent to $317.80 million. Same-store gross profit was up 2.7 percent. Bloomfield Hill, MI-based Penske had 345 retail automotive franchises at year’s end — of which 154 are located in the United States and 191 are located overseas, primarily in the United Kingdom.

Group 1 Automotive reported $190.52 million in U.S. parts and service revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 — an increase of 1.4 percent over the previous year. On a same-store basis, revenue rose 2.1 percent, with wholesale parts revenue up 4 percent and customer-pay revenue up 6 percent. U.S. parts and service gross profit declined 0.5 percent to $151.63 million, while gross margin slipped from 53.2 percent to 52.2 percent on a year-over-year basis. Houston-based Group 1 owns and operates 182 automotive dealerships, 237 franchises and 47 collision centers in the United States, United Kingdom and Brazil.

• Sonic Automotive’s customer-pay parts, service and collision repair revenue decreased 1.8 percent to $137.69 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, while its wholesale parts revenue declined 7.6 percent to $38.30 million. Warranty revenue was down 1.9 percent. On a same-store basis, customer-pay revenue rose 1.8 percent and warranty revenue increased 2.7 percent; however, same-store wholesale parts revenue declined 4.3 percent. As of Dec. 31, 2018, Charlotte-based Sonic had 108 new vehicle franchises (representing 23 different brands of cars and light trucks) as well as 15 collision repair centers across 13 states.

• Lithia Motors’ service, body and parts revenue rose 15.6 percent to $313.90 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. On a same-store basis, revenue increased 5.5 percent, with customer-pay revenue up 8 percent and wholesale parts revenue up 3 percent. Body shop revenue decreased 4 percent. Same-store service, body and parts gross profit climbed 12.5 percent to $137.70 million, and gross margin rose 300 basis points to 49.1 percent. Medford, OR-based Lithia has 181 locations nationwide.

• The Asbury Automotive Group saw its parts and service revenue increase 7.4 percent to $211.10 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. Same-store revenue grew 5 percent. Parts and service gross profit increased 7.1 percent to $131.30 million. On a same-store basis, gross profit rose 5 percent, with customer-pay gross profit up 6 percent and wholesale parts gross profit up 7 percent. Duluth, GA-based Asbury had 83 dealerships — consisting of 97 franchises, representing 29 domestic and foreign brands of vehicles — as well as 25 collision repair centers as of Dec. 31, 2018.