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March 31, 2010

US: AutoNation sees Q1 revenue and operating profit up

US dealer group AutoNation expects first quarter 2010 operating earnings per share (EPS) in the range ofUS $0.29 to $0.32, compared to adjusted EPS of $0.22 in the previous year. Revenue is forecast a about $2.8bn compared to $2.4bn for first quarter 2009.

US dealer group AutoNation expects first quarter 2010 operating earnings per share (EPS) in the range ofUS $0.29 to $0.32, compared to adjusted EPS of $0.22 in the previous year. Revenue is forecast a about $2.8bn compared to $2.4bn for first quarter 2009.

New vehicle sales are expected up 18% to about 45,000 units with used vehicle sales up 12% to 38,000.

“We are pleased with our performance in a recovering but historically weak auto retail market. We saw a continuation of the gradual industry recovery in the first quarter of 2010,” said chairman and CEO Mike Jackson.

The country’s largest dealer group is looking to amend and extend its term loan and revolving credit facility scheduled to expire on 18 July, 2012 by two years.

The size of the term loan facility is expected to be reduced from $600 million to approximately $520 million, and the size of the revolving credit facility is expected to be reduced from $700 million to approximately $616 million.

The company hopes to complete the new arrangements by 14 April.

“When completed, the transactions announced today will significantly enhance our financial strength and flexibility by extending our debt maturities, increasing our available liquidity, lowering our exposure to interest rate increases and providing additional flexibility to manage our business and optimise capital allocation,” said Jackson.

AutoNation is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and owns and operates 249 new vehicle franchises in 15 states.

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