Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (GPI)

Q2 2010 Earnings Conference Call

July 27, 2010 11:00 AM ET


Pete DeLongchamps – VP, Manufacture Relations and Public Affairs

Earl Hesterberg – President and CEO

John Rickel – SVP and CFO


John Murphy – Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Patrick Archambault – Goldman Sachs

Mathew Nemer – Wells Fargo Securities

Himanshu Patel – JP Morgan

Ravi Shankar – Morgan Stanley

Rick Nelson – Stevens



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» Group 1 Automotive, Inc. Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript
» Group 1 Automotive, Inc. Q4 2009 Earnings Call Transcript
» Group 1 Automotive Inc. Q1 2009 Earnings Call Transcript

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Group 1 Automotive Inc, Second Quarter 2010 earnings conference call. Please be advised that this call is being recorded.

I would like to turn the conference call over to Mr. Pete DeLongchamps, Vice President of Manufacture Relations and Public Affairs. Please go ahead sir.

Peter DeLongchamps

Thank you, Elizabeth and good morning, everyone, and welcome to today's call. Before we begin, I would like to make some brief remarks about forward-looking statements and the use of non-GAAP financial measures. Except for historical information mentioned during the conference call, statements made about management of Group 1 Automotive are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Forward-looking statements involve both known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause the company's actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. Those risks include, but are not limited to risks associated with pricing, volume, and the conditions of markets. Those and other risks are described in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the last 12 months. Copies of these filings are available from both the SEC and the company.

In addition, certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined under SEC rules may be discussed on this call. As required by applicable SEC rules, the company provides reconciliations of any such non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures on its website.

Participating today on today's call is Earl Hesterberg, our President and Chief Executive Officer; John Rickel, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Lance Parker, Vice President and Corporate Controller; and myself.

I would now hand the call over to Earl. Earl?

Earl Hesterberg

Thank you Pete and good morning everyone. Before I turn the call over to John Rickel so he can provide details of our second quarter financial results, I'll review our operating highlights.

During the second quarter, as reported by J.D. Power, year-over-year industry new vehicle retail sales increase 10%. We're pleased to report this morning that we far exceeded those results with our same-store new vehicle unit sales increased more than 23% and our new vehicle revenue was up 26.5% from the second quarter of 2009.

We saw strength across the vast majority of markets and brands. In addition to the strong increase in new vehicle sales, we had even better results in our used retail sales where our same-store unit sales increased 24.2% from the same period a year ago and our revenue was up 31.7%. We indicated on our first quarter call that after 18 months of restructuring we were shifting gears on our plan for 2010 with focused on growing our company again.

Our results during the first six months of this year indicates that we have been successful in that effort. In addition to the strong growth in new and used vehicle sales this quarter, we also delivered the following on a same-store basis. 15% growth in gross profit from wholesale used vehicle sales, reported higher finance and insurance growth profit per retail unit and saw F&I revenue increase 31.4%.

Standard parts and service gross profit by 7.6% on 4.8% higher revenues from the prior year period. It should be noted that Toyota recalls accounted for only one percentage point of the revenue increase in the quarter. Global same-store revenues up 25% in the quarter and up 21.4% or $445 million in the first six months as compared with the first half of 2009.

Improved SG&A expense by 390 basis points sequentially to 77.3% of gross profit and achieved an operating margin of 3.2%. During the quarter we had some adjustments associated with dealership dispositions and severance charges for restructuring a too recently acquired UK dealerships. Excluding these adjustments, on a consolidated basis, SG&A as a percentage of gross profit improved 340 basis points to 78% from the prior quarter reflecting our ability to leverage our inter cost structure.

Our operating margins were 3% and earnings were up $0.75 per dilute share. Turning now to additional details on our new vehicle business. Our brand mix during the second quarter was comprised of 35% of unit sales from our Toyota/Scion/Lexus stores. We saw our Toyota unit sales increased 28% during the quarter, nearly doubling the national increase.

Our next largest brand was Nissan/Infiniti which accounted for 14% of unit sales and where we saw a 41% sales increase in the quarter. Next stuff was Honda/Acura at 12% and BMW now represents a 11.5% of our mix as we've continued to expand with this profitable brand. Rounding out our line-up is Ford at 9% with a 26% increase in unit sales. Mercedes-Benz at 6% and GM and Chrysler representing 4% and 3% of our unit sales respectively.

In total Luxury and Import sales comprised 85% of our new vehicle unit sales. Our new vehicle inventories stood at 57 days' supply at quarter end. Looking at the used vehicle business, as I mentioned earlier our second quarter same-store used retail revenues were 32%, 24% more unit sales from the prior year period. Gross profit for retail unit increased slightly to $1,862. Our certified pre-owned business grew to represent 35% of our used vehicle retail sales in the quarter.

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