Lithia Motors Inc. recorded $5.7 million in net income in the third quarter, becoming the fifth publicly traded U.S. dealership group to make money in the period.
Lithia's profit compares with a $2.4 million net loss a year earlier, when the retailer wrote down the value of several Detroit 3 dealerships and said it intended to sell them.
Lithia joins AutoNation Inc., Group 1 Automotive Inc., Sonic Automotive Inc. and Asbury Automotive Group Inc. in posting a profit in each of the first three quarters while battling the weakest demand for autos in more than a quarter century.
Revenue fell to $458.2 million from $506.9 million, Lithia said in a statement today. The company's store count has fallen to 87 from 101 in the past year.
Lithia ranks eighth on the Automotive News list of the top 125 U.S. dealership groups, with sales of 46,725 new retail units in 2008.
Penske Automotive Group Inc., which releases quarterly results Friday, will be the last of the six largest public dealership groups to report. It was also profitable in the first two quarters.