Asbury Automotive net income more than doubled in Q4

Asbury Automotive Group Inc.’s profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter as the Duluth, Ga., public retailer closed its first full year of earnings boosted by its December 2021 acquisition of Larry H. Miller Dealerships.

Fourth-quarter net income jumped to $353.2 million, up from 140.5 million in the same period a year earlier, Asbury said Thursday. Revenue soared 40 percent to $3.71 billion. However, same-store dealership revenue rose just 1.4 percent, while same-store gross profit dropped 1.9 percent during the fourth quarter,

Asbury noted it spent $2.7 million during the fourth quarter on “a significant acquisition that did not materialize.” More details weren’t immediately available.

Asbury CEO David Hult said in a statement that he was pleased with the progress of the retailer’s dealership acquisitions and growth initiatives such as its Clicklane digital retailing platform.

“We believe we are well-positioned going into 2023 to achieve our strategic goals,” Hult said in the statement.

Clicklane recorded record sales of 8,471 vehicles during the fourth quarter, up 67 percent from a year earlier.

Asbury bought 61 Larry H. Miller franchised and used-only stores and finance-and-insurance product provider Total Care Auto in a $3.2 billion December 2021 deal. At the time, Larry H. Miller was ranked No. 8 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with 61,097 new vehicles retailed in 2020. Asbury was No. 6 on that same list and then moved to No. 5 on the latest Automotive News list, with retail sales of 109,910 new vehicles in 2021.

Asbury said it sold nine North Carolina dealerships, which represented about $590 million in annual revenue, to Hudson Automotive Group of Charleston, S.C., during the fourth quarter. Asbury said it had received $322 million in proceeds from the deal, though it was unclear whether that amount represented the full sale price.

For the full year, Asbury reported a huge increase in net income. Revenue for the year also soared, though it was down slightly on a same-store basis.

Shares of Asbury rose 3.2 percent midday Thursday to $239.15.

  • Q4 revenue: $3.71 billion, up 40 percent from a year earlier
  • Q4 net income: $353.2 million, up 151 percent
  • Q4 adjusted net income: $201.9 million, up 24 percent
  • Q4 vehicle sales: 36,811 new vehicles, up 41 percent; 34,346 used vehicles, up 27 percent
  • 2022 revenue: $15.43 billion, up 57 percent
  • 2022 net income: $997.3 million, up 87 percent
  • 2022 adjusted net income: $842 million, up 54 percent
  • 2022 vehicle sales: 151,179 new vehicles, up 38 percent; 151,464 used vehicles, up 44 percent
  • 2022 records: Net income, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization


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