Auto-retail giant AutoNation Inc. set an all-time record for same-store finance and insurance gross profit per vehicle, while it posted gross profit jumps in all business sectors despite a pull-back in new-vehicle sales.
Revenue for the nation's largest new-vehicle retailer grew 2.5 percent to $5.55 billion. AutoNation said Tuesday that net income from continuing operations jumped 70 percent to $158 million.
CEO Cheryl Miller told Automotive News that AutoNation benefited from strength across all of its business areas and from the buying public during the quarter.
"You had low unemployment. You had three Federal Reserve cuts last year. And it really supported demand," Miller said. "In addition to that we executed well."
The quarter included $20 million in gains from the sale of two dealerships and properties and a $19 million non-cash gain in its Vroom investment following a recent valuation of the online used-vehicle retailer. In fall 2018, AutoNation invested $50 million into Vroom for a roughly 7 percent stake in the company.
In the quarter a year earlier, AutoNation had $13 million in gains from store and property sales and $7 million in charges related to its $50 million restructuring plan.