For the fourth quarter of 2010, Penske Automotive Group Inc. posted a 53% increase in profit, surpassing analysts' estimates. Penske, the nation's second-biggest dealership group, said that net income rose to $28.5 million from $18.7 million a year earlier.
Meanwhile, revenue climbed 13% to $2.77 billion. Last year, the dealership group posted earnings of $108.3 million, about 41% higher than in 2009, attributed to higher light vehicle sales. Revenue rose by 12.7% to $10.7 billion in 2010.
Penske's stores, which sell import and luxury vehicles such as the namesake brands of BMW AG and Toyota Motor Corp., make up over 90% of revenue. Autodata Corp. said that luxury cars and sport-utility vehicles gained market share last year, while import brands' gains trailed the industry.
In a statement, Penske Chairman Roger Penske said that because of an improving retail environment in the U.S., its business in the fourth quarter was boosted, including a 13.8% increase in same-store total retail unit sales and a 7% increase in same-store service and parts revenues.
U.S. auto sales increased by 11% last year to 11.6 million deliveries from a 27-year low in 2009. According to the statement, Penske Automotive's new-vehicle sales increased 10% last year. [via autonews - sub. required]