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Penske earnings rise 67% in Q4 as sales grow
Penske Automotive Group, the second-biggest U.S.-based auto dealership group, today posted a 67 percent gain in fourth-quarter net income on an 11 percent sales rise.

The company, in a statement, said it posted earnings of $47.7 million during the quarter compared with $28.5 million during the same quarter last year.

Penske said it posted revenue of $2.96 billion, up from $2.67 billion a year earlier.

Income from continuing operations was 47 cents per share, compared to expectations of 40 cents per share, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

For the year, Penske said it posted earnings of $176.9 million, up from $108.3 million in 2010. Revenue increased 12 percent to $11.6 billion, the company said.

CEO Roger Penske said 2011 was the most profitable year in the company's history, which helped it expand its business with about $1 billion in "opportunistic acquisitions," including a British auto group bought last month.

"Our fourth quarter results continue to demonstrate the strength of the automotive retail model and the benefit from our premium/luxury brand mix in both the U.S. and international markets," Penske said in a statement.

"We produced another outstanding quarter of profitability while generating same-store revenue increases in each area of our business. I am extremely pleased with the continued strong performance of our used vehicle business, which increased same-store retail unit sales by 16 percent and same-store retail revenue by 14 percent."

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