Avis reports upturn in trading

Avis Europe has seen business improve with overall rental income for the four months to end of October up by 4.5%.

Current trading has “continued to improve in line with our expectations”, the company said today in an interim management statement.

“We are also seeing the benefit from account wins of the last 18 months coming through, particularly in the UK,” the car rental firm said.

“Consequently, billed days, our measure of volumes, have continued to improve month by month across most of our markets, having turned positive compared to the prior year in July.”

Rental revenue per day has been lower since August, mainly due to longer rental length, the company said.

“Utilisation has been increased on a cumulative basis to the end of October, having now absorbed the negative impact from the travel disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud in the first half. This improvement is expected to be maintained for the rest of the year.”

Avis has taken advantage of stronger conditions in the used car markets to reduce the age of the fleet while keeping “tight control” of costs.

“Overall, and despite the continuing fragility of the economic environment in Europe, our expectations for the remainder of the year are unchanged,” the statement said.

Actions taken to reduce costs together with the strength of the Avis and Budget brands “have positioned us to take advantage of the expected progressive recovery in our markets”.

Growth is being accelerated in rapidly-expanding markets such as Asia. “We therefore believe the prospects for the Group remain very positive,” Avis said. Full year results for 2010 will be published on February 28.


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