DETROIT -- Car dealership Sonic Automotive Inc. on Tuesday posted lower second-quarter profit, hurt by rising interest rates and continued pressure on new vehicle margins.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based company, said profit fell to $27 million, or 62 cents a share, from $30 million, or 69 cents a share a year earlier.
Excluding charges, the company earned 66 cents a share, higher than Wall Street expectations of 63 cents a share.
Revenues rose to $2.1 billion from $1.8 billion a year ago. On a same-store basis revenues increased 8.6 percent from the same period last year.
"We continue to believe that the second half of 2005 will produce favorable year-over-year performance improvement," said Chairman and CEO O. Bruton Smith in a statement.
Sonic completed the acquisition of a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Santa Monica, Calif., during the second quarter, which is expected to generate more than $160 million in annual revenue, the company said.
Five dealerships were sold in the quarter and four others are pending, the company said.
Sonic is third on the Automotive News ranking of top dealer groups in the United States in 2004 with 219,518 total vehicles sold.