Automobile

Lithia posts record revenue, earnings per share in Q1

Net income surged at Lithia Motors Inc. in the first quarter as the dealership group reported record first-quarter revenue and earnings per share.

Lithia said Wednesday that it posted net income of $156 million, compared with $46 million in first-quarter 2020. Revenue for the quarter jumped 54 percent to $4.3 billion, a first-quarter record high, up from $2.8 billion in the year-earlier period.

Earnings per share nearly tripled to $5.81 from $1.97 in first-quarter 2020.

The Medford, Ore., retailer improved across all of its business lines, with same-store new, used and finance-and-insurance revenue up nearly 30 percent. Service, body and parts business also rose slightly, Lithia CEO Bryan DeBoer said in a statement.

“The pandemic impacted our first-quarter 2020 results only for the last two weeks in March, and our team’s performance this quarter demonstrates our ability to be the leader in consolidating this highly fragmented industry,” DeBoer said. “As we build on the broadest nationwide network, we continue to expand the reach of our people, inventory and locations through our national e-commerce home solution Driveway.”

Driveway, Lithia’s omnichannel vehicle sales, acquisition and service scheduling platform, launched last year. Omnichannel retailing refers to technology and processes aimed at providing a seamless buying experience to consumers whether they shop online, in-store or both.

The platform is a key component of Lithia’s five-year plan unveiled last July to grow revenue to $50 billion and earnings per share to $50 by 2025.

Adjusted earnings of $158 million exclude a $0.08 per diluted share net non-core charge related to acquisition expenses, net loss on sale of stores, insurance reserves and a non-cash unrealized investment loss, the statement also said.

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