Asbury Automotive Group Inc., coming off its first annual loss since becoming publicly traded, posted a $300,000 profit in the first quarter.
The net income compares with a profit of $10.1 million in the first quarter of 2008.
Asbury posted a 2008 net loss of $338 million and in March received a going concern warning from auditors that it may not meet future debt obligations. That constituted an automatic default for some of Asburys debts, but the company quickly received waivers from 11 lenders to prevent the default.
And the dealership group, the sixth-largest in the United States, now is in compliance with all debt agreements and at the end of March had $36 million in cash and $163 million in available credit, CFO Craig Monaghan said in a statement.
Asbury earned $2.2 million from continuing operations in the first quarter. Thats down from $10.4 million in last years first quarter, but up from a $353.5 million operating loss in the fourth quarter of 2008, which included an after-tax one-time charge of $373.1 million for lowering the value of its assets and franchises.
Delivering income from continuing operations compared with our operating loss in the fourth quarter of 2008, is a tremendous accomplishment in view of the further sequential decline in U.S. new vehicle sales, CEO Charles Oglesby said in a statement.
Asburys first-quarter revenue fells to $838.3 million, down from $1.20 billion a year earlier.
Asbury, of Duluth, Ga., sold 83,822 new vehicles in 2008, placing it sixth on the Automotive News list of top 125 U.S. dealership groups. New light-vehicle sales in the first quarter fell to 13,633, down 38.8 percent from 2008.