NEW YORK - Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. has reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2007.
Income from continuing operations for the first quarter was $2.4 million, or $0.07 per diluted share. These results include an after-tax charge of $11.1 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, related to a debt refinancing and after-tax charges of $1.8 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, related to the planned retirement next month of current CEO Kenneth B. Gilman.
Adjusting for these items, income from continuing operations for the first quarter increased 12 percent to $15.3 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, from $13.7 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, in last year's first quarter.Summary financial information for the first quarter of 2007, as compared to last year's first quarter, included:
Charles R. Oglesby, who will succeed Mr. Gilman as president and CEO, said, "As the numbers reveal, it's the depth and breadth of the performance that's most impressive. All four business lines had record first-quarter gross-profit results, with two of them, fixed operations and used vehicles, having all-time record quarters. Overall, our gross profit margin improved to 15.8 percent, the highest in the company's history. And, equally as important, our strong performance was not confined to any one geographic region, as each of our four regions delivered record first-quarter results."
J. Gordon Smith, senior vice president and CFO, said, "This quarter was Asbury's 10th in a row of adjusted SG&A expense leverage improvement. That ratio improved another 80 basis points in the first quarter versus the prior year quarter, and we still see additional opportunity to continue to leverage our expense structure."