NEW YORK - Group 1 Automotive Inc posted a quarterly operating profit and its first increase in same-store sales in years, the U.S. auto dealership group said on Thursday.

Group 1 posted a net loss of $2 million, or 8 cents a share, compared to a loss of $57.4 million, or $2.52 per share, a year earlier.

On an operating basis and excluding one-time items, the auto retailer had a profit of 43 cents a share. That was a penny shy of analysts' expectations of 44 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue rose 1.5 percent to $1.15 billion. Sales at stores open more than one year rose 4.1 percent.

Analysts had expected revenue of $1.12 billion.

The company said that 38 percent of its new car sales in the fourth quarter came from Toyota Motor Corp. (Reporting by Franklin Paul, editing by Dave Zimmerman)