BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — Fueled by an 18.1 percent increase in total retail sales, Penske Automotive Group achieved it most profitable first quarter in company history, the international dealer group reported yesterday.

Income from continuing operations increased 37.3 percent to $50 million, while revenue increased 17.9 percent to $3.2 billion. Nearly half of teh company's revenue came from sales of new cars and 40 percent came from used sales. 

Same-store new and used retail sales increased 9.5 percent, while total same-store retail revenue increased 7.5 percent from a year ago.

Total gross profit increased 15.3 percent to $506.6 million. Average gross profit per vehicle retailed came in at $3,064 for new and $2,043 for used. Average F&I gross profit per unit retailed stood at $981.

"I am extremely pleased with our team's performance,” said Chairman Roger Penske. “We produced another outstanding quarter of profitability, while generating same-store revenue increases in each area of our business. New and used vehicle margins were strong, and our service and parts operations gross margin added 60 basis points to 57.7 percent."