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Sixt voices caution despite improved business performance

Sixt has seen business performance “brighten” in recent weeks despite international travel curbs and Covid curfews in Europe.

The car rental firm managed to generate consolidated revenue at the previous year’s level in March and positive consolidated pre-tax earnings.

This was mainly due to an upturn in demand in the US, where Sixt achieved positive earnings [ebitda] overall in the first quarter of 2021.

Overall first quarter losses are projected to be limited to €13.7 million, helped by a recovery in demand and continued strict cost controls.

Personnel and material expenses fell by 33% compared to the same period last year and fleet costs were reduced by 31% to give savings of €136 million.

However, business performance in the January-March period continued to be impacted by the tough, and in some cases even stricter, lockdown in Europe, the company said.

“In view of the continuing high level of uncertainty regarding the future course of the pandemic, the managing board continues to refrain from issuing a forecast for the full year,” Sixt added.

Chief executive Erich Sixt said: “The positive development in the first quarter, which continued in the month of April, gives us hope for the important second and third quarters.

“We are seeing that once Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed, people have an unbridled urge to be individually mobile and travel. Sixt will benefit greatly from this with its broad product portfolio.

“The easing that has now also been announced in many European countries should have a positive impact on how demand develops.”

But he added: “Despite the encouraging signals, we must remain cautious and monitor the further course of the pandemic closely. It is definitely too early to sound the all-clear.”

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