Even with the tough challenges in the middle of the year, the net income of AutoNation Inc. reached record levels in the fourth quarter due to the boost it got from the rebound of new and used vehicles. AutoNation, the biggest auto retailer in the country, had a net income of $69.4 million for the fourth quarter, a 3.1% increase.
Its net income for the entire year increased by 24.2% to $281.4 million. In a statement, AutoNation said that it set an all-time profit record on an adjusted per-share basis for the fourth quarter as well as for the full year.
Total revenue increased by 13% to $3.7 billion in the fourth quarter as its new and used unit sales climbed by 11%. Revenue rose by 11% to $13.8 billion for the full year. Its gross profit per vehicle increased by more than 2% in the quarter to $2,451. Meanwhile, gross profit from finance and insurance increased by 5.4% to $1,223 for each vehicle.
CEO Mike Jackson said that the fourth quarter ended a year wherein supply disruptions from the Japanese earthquake reduced industry sales growth. However, the resulting vehicle shortage had helped retailers in getting top dollar from buyers. AutoNation had improved in all business areas.
Jackson said that this year, there would be even higher sales. He forecasts that its new vehicle sales will reach 14 million units in 2012, a 10% increase over 2011. In a prepared statement, Jackson said that they’re excited about the continuous recovery in auto retail. This was driven up by the accelerated product offerings, strong consumer credit and strong replacement demand, Jackson said.