HOUSTON — Group 1 Automotive Inc. set new records for total gross profit, as well as first-quarter revenue and F&I gross profit per vehicle sold.

First-quarter net income stood at $23.1 million, a 49.1 percent increase. Total revenue rose 18 percent to $1.66 billion, a new first-quarter record and a second best all-time high in the company’s history, according to F&I and Showroom magazine.

Total gross margin came in at 15.6 percent, as gross profit grew 17.4 percent from a year ago to an all-time record of $260.4 million. Additionally, new-vehicle gross profit increased 23.5 percent on 16.3 percent higher revenues, as the company retailed 13.1 percent more units. The average selling price also expanded 2.9 percent to $32,674.

Used-vehicle sales for the group surged 24 percent, while the average selling price increased 3.4 percent to $20,000, driving gross profit growth of 25.9 percent on 28.3 percent higher revenues.

F&I gross profit per retail unit came in at $1,175, a record first-quarter result. Parts and service revenues increased 9.3 percent from the prior year, which company officials attributed to growth in customer-pay, wholesale parts and collision businesses.

"Group 1's strong, first-quarter operating and financial results included record-setting revenues, gross profit and earnings for our shareholders," said Earl J. Hesterberg, Group 1's president and chief executive officer. "Based on the first-quarter results, we now expect new vehicle industry sales of 14.5 million units in 2012."