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Sonic Automotive 1Q Profit Up

May 3, 2007

Charlotte, N.C. — Automotive retailer Sonic Automotive Inc. reported its first-quarter profit rose 17 percent on growth in sales of used cars and finance and insurance products.

Sonic earned $20 million, or 44 cents per share, compared with $17.1 million, or 39 cents per share, for the same quarter in 2006.

Earnings from continuing operations rose to $23.7 million, or 52 cents per share, compared with $21.5 million, or 49 cents per share, in the 2006 period.

Revenue increased 3.6 percent to $1.95 billion from $1.89 billion in the year-ago period.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected a profit of 52 cents per share on $1.94 billion in revenue.

On a same-store basis, new vehicle retail revenue rose 2.3 percent, used vehicle retail revenue increased 5.1 percent, fixed operations revenue rose 5.4 percent and finance and insurance revenue rose 6.3 percent.

Luxury and import brands represented 83 percent of the company's total revenue for the most recent quarter.

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