Republic Industries Inc.'s growing armada of new-car dealerships pushed company revenues up nearly 70 percent to $17.5 billion last year, and net income up 13.6 percent to $499.5 million.
The biggest factor was Republic's new-car dealerships. In 1998 the company acquired or agreed to acquire 181 new-car franchises, giving it a total of 380 franchises at 262 dealership sites.
Republic's automotive retail segment - which includes new- and used-vehicle sales - saw revenues more than double to $12.7 billion in 1998.
For the fourth quarter, Republic said that its continuing operations realized a 55 percent increase in net income to $103.7 million, and a 65.5 percent gain in revenues to $4.8 billion. Automotive retail revenue for the quarter rose 95 percent over fourth quarter 1997 to $3.64 billion. Operating income for the segment increased nearly fourfold to $105.7 million.