Lithia Motors watched its retail used-vehicle sales figure overall and on a same-store basis climb by double digits year-over-year in the second quarter, which turned out to be the highest second quarter for adjusted net income in company history.
Lithia reported that it turned 12.3 percent more used vehicles during Q2 as all of the group's stores had 27,716 used models roll over the curb. On a same-store comparison, the year-over-year improvement came in at 10.2 percent.
The moving of more used metal helped Lithia overcome a 4.5-percent dip in used-vehicle gross profit as the per-unit figure softened to $2,425.
Also helping the company cause was a 4.9 percent increase in F&I gross profit per unit as the overall figure moved up to $1,271.
The used department helped to push Lithia to a 2-percent rise in Q2 unadjusted net income to $51.4 million, or $2.01 per diluted share.
For the first six months of 2016, Lithia highlighted its revenues increased 8.7 percent to $4.1 billion from $3.8 billion in the first six months of 2015 and unadjusted net income was $3.56 per diluted share, compared to $3.47 per diluted share. Adjusted net income per diluted share for the first six months of 2016 increased 8.0 percent to $3.52 from $3.26 for the first six months of 2015.
“Our stores delivered strong results in the quarter, growing all business lines,” Lithia president and chief executive officer Bryan DeBoer said. “Led by a 10.2-percent increase in used vehicle sales and a 7.4-percent increase in service, body and parts sales, our team is capitalizing on both a growing supply of used vehicles and units in operation sold over the past seven years that are now returning for service.
“We are capturing new-vehicle market share and increasing F&I per unit, which we believe are the key drivers to future organic growth, while maintaining adjusted SG&A as a percentage of gross profit below 67 percent,” DeBoer said.
Speaking of new vehicles, Lithia reported that when Q2 closed on June 30 its stores had retailed 36,059 new units, a 2.7-percent improvement year-over-year. Lithia’s new-vehicle margin improved by almost the same rate, ticking up by 2.3 percent to $2,021.
And Lithia continues to add more dealerships to its portfolio to turn both used and new metal. With the addition of a GMC Buick franchise in Helena, Mont. during the quarter, Lithia completed three acquisitions so far 2016.
“We anticipate a sustained new vehicle sales environment of 17 million units in the coming years. This provides Lithia several benefits including a predictable and profitable cadence of new car sales and incrementally higher service revenues as the vehicles sold over the past six years age and require maintenance,” DeBoer said.
“Additionally, the increasing supply of used vehicles will drive incremental revenue opportunities,” he continued. “Most importantly, a static SAAR level will spur further acquisitions as the aging dealer body seeks the optimal time to retire. These factors increase our confidence in establishing a new milestone of $9 in earnings per share, which we will strive to achieve through improvement in our existing locations and acquisition activity in both the Lithia and DCH platforms.
“We will continue our growth and believe the best use of capital is expanding our store base,” DeBoer went on to say.
Editor’s note: Watch for an upcoming report in Auto Remarketing Today highlighting more of Lithia’s used-vehicle operation.