Rental income at car hire giant Avis Europe was up by 5.2% in the four months to the end of April over the same period last year. But rental revenue per day was lower than the prior year when the company benefited from “significant additional fees” on one-way rentals during the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud period.
Issuing its interim management statement today, the company said: “The encouraging improvement in volumes seen in the second half of last year has been sustained, with billed days ahead of the comparative in nearly all markets.”
Trading had for the first four months of the year been “in line with expectations” supported by the overall economic recovery and a “substantial transformation” of the business over the last three years, the company said.
“From a geographic perspective, we continue to successfully strengthen our market position in the UK and have achieved strong growth in Germany with some early recovery being seen in Spain. Both our Avis and Budget licensee businesses continue to grow, fully absorbing relatively small impacts from recent events in North Africa and the Middle East.”
Avis has been closely monitoring any potential consequences to its fleet supply of disruption to car production following Japan earthquake and tsunami.
“In close co-ordination with the car manufacturers we have undertaken preventative measures to ensure that we maintain our flexibility in relation to supply,” Avis said. “Therefore, we do not expect any impact to our key summer trading period.”
Looking forward, the company said its expectations for the full year “remain unchanged”. “We continue to expect good progress for the year and a further increase in our underlying pre-tax margin,” Avis said. “Positive volume trends across our main markets are expected to continue, with mix effects reducing reported rental revenue per day.”
Growth is being accelerated in China and new mobility solutions are being developed, including the introduction in France of Avis on Demand, a remote access, hourly rental service.
“Looking beyond the year, the actions we have now taken to transform the group, together with the strength of our two global brands, have strongly positioned us to take advantage of the expected continued recovery in our markets,” Avis said.
Financial results for the six months ending June 30 are due out on August 25.
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