MEDFORD, Ore. — Lithia Motors Inc. third-quarter profits rose 48 percent from a year ago to 23.3 million. Revenues totaled $888 million, up 24 percent from a year ago.

On a same-store basis, new-vehicle sales increased 30 percent, while used-sales rose 24 percent. Service, body and parts sales increased 6 percent, while F&I revenues grew by 36.4 percent.

“Our stores delivered solid results in the third quarter,” said Bryan DeBoer, president and CEO. “We continue to focus on improving vehicle sales volumes, service revenues and customer satisfaction.”

From the year-ago period, F&I profit per retail unit increased from $1,027 to $1,101. The company also arranged financing for 76 percent of vehicles sold, with group also recording a service-contract penetration rate of 41 percent. Its lifetime oil change products penetrated at a 35 percent clip during the quarter.

For the first nine months of 2012, revenue from continuing operations increased 27 percent to $2.5 billion. Same-store new-vehicle sales increased 30 percent, while used-vehicle sales increased 21 percent.

Sid DeBoer, Founder and Executive Chairman, commented, "New-vehicle sales volumes in the United States continue to recover,” said Sid DeBoer, the group’s founder and executive chairman. “New safety and technology features, improved fuel economy and improving consumer credit markets, coupled with an aging fleet of vehicles, are all tailwinds for increasing sales levels through the remainder of 2012 and in 2013. Our new leadership team and a revitalized group of store managers is poised to continue this growth."