Sonic Automotive Earnings: First Quarter Net Profit Soars 80%
Sonic Automotive Inc.’s first-quarter net profit soared 80% to $97.3 million despite a decline in used-vehicle sales from its growing EchoPark brand. The dealership group recorded a slight increase in retail sales in its expanding portfolio of franchised dealerships.
Revenue at the Charlotte, North Carolina retailer rose 29% to $3.6 billion, a first-quarter record, Sonic said.
On the franchise dealer side, average gross profit per new vehicle more than doubled to $6,771 in the first quarter, Sonic said, while average gross profit per used vehicle also increased.
Sonic said total F&I gross profit per retail vehicle reached $2,495, an all-time quarterly high.
The group’s EchoPark autonomous used-vehicle stores generated record revenue of $625.3 million in the first quarter, but higher spending led to a loss of $34.9 million for the unit .
“Despite inventory constraints and inflation due to ongoing supply chain issues, we continue to see strong consumer demand for vehicle sales, parts and services across our business” , CEO David Smith said in a statement Thursday. “With these favorable trends and our continued focus on executing our long-term strategic growth plan for Sonic and EchoPark, we remain confident of achieving our stated goal of $28 billion in total revenue by 2025. .”
Sonic made its first franchise dealership acquisitions in years in 2021, including the December purchase of RFJ Auto Partners Holdings Inc., one of the largest privately owned dealership groups in the United States.
Sonic completed an acquisition in the first quarter, with the January purchase of Sun Chevrolet in Chittenango, NY, its first franchised dealership in the state.
Sonic also expanded its EchoPark brand during the quarter with the opening of a delivery center in Johnson City, Tennessee in March.
In April, Sonic opened an EchoPark delivery center in Columbus, Georgia, and a retail center in Raleigh, North Carolina, expanding the network to 38 locations.
Shares of Sonic closed down 0.8% on Wednesday at $42.98.
1st quarter turnover: $3.6 billion, up 29% from the previous year
Q1 net income: $97.3 million, up 80% from the previous year
Vehicle sales in the 1st quarter: Franchised dealers sold 51,680 new and used vehicles, up 1.2%. EchoPark stores sold 14,995 used vehicles, down 24%.
Recordings: First quarter revenue, first quarter pretax income from continuing operations, F&I all-time quarterly total gross profit by vehicle, and first quarter EchoPark revenue, among others.
Ranking: Sonic ranks #7 on Automotive News‘ list of top 150 US-based dealer groups, selling 103,486 new vehicles in 2021.