Editor's note: Group 1 repurchased more than 3 million shares in 2022. A previous version of this story misstated that figure.
Sales gains in all areas of its business propelled Group 1 Automotive Inc. to higher profits during the fourth quarter, as the public dealership group continued acquiring smaller rivals.
Group 1, of Houston, on Wednesday reported net income of $157 million in the fourth quarter, up 80 percent. Revenue rose 17 percent to $4.07 billion.
Growth through acquisition was a key strategy for the retailer in 2022.
"We acquired nearly $1 billion of revenue in 2022 and have now acquired over $3 billion in revenues over the past 15 months," CEO Daryl Kenningham said during a Wednesday call with analysts. Kenningham was promoted to the top job as of Jan. 1, taking over for now-retired Earl Hesterberg.
"We expect a gradual decline in new-vehicle margins over the course of 2023 as inventory continues to recover. We do, however, expect normalized new-vehicle margins to eventually settle above our pre-pandemic levels."
In December, Group 1 acquired a Mercedes-Benz and Sprinter dealership in California, which is expected to generate $200 million in annual revenues. Group 1 reported that for full-year 2022 it acquired dealerships representing expected annual revenue of $940 million. The retailer divested its dealerships in Brazil last July.