Slowing car sales led to a decline in fourth quarter revenue for AutoNation Inc., though the nation's largest dealership group reported sales and profits were up for 2000.
Net profit for the quarter was $73.7 million, compared with a $403.1 million loss the previous year, when it closed its used car superstores and announced a restructuring. AutoNation earned $329.9 million for the year, compared with $282.9 million in 1999.
Revenues for the fourth quarter were $4.7 billion - down 4 percent from $5 billion in the same period the year before - as sales of new and used cars fell. But AutoNation finished the year with revenues of $20.6 billion, up from $20.1 billion in 1999.
AutoNation said the improvements came after drastic cutbacks that focused the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company on the new-car business.
United Auto Group Inc. of Detroit, the nation's third-largest dealership group in 1999, reported an uptick in fourth quarter 2000 income and revenue.
Net income was $6.1 million, up from $5.9 million in 1999. Revenue for the fourth quarter was $1.2 billion, up from $1 billion in 1999.
UAG's revenue for the 2000 rose 21 percent to $4.9 billion, compared with $4 billion in 1999. Net income was $34 million, up from $26.7 million in 1999.