Avis car rental revenue drops 4%

The Avis Budget Group has reported a 4% decline in its car rental revenues for the first three months of 2010.

Chairman and chief executive Ronald Nelson said the number of rental days fell by 12%, although this was offset by a 7% increase in the average daily rental rate for the three months to March 31.

The drop in car rental revenues contributed to a year-on-year, first-quarter 3% decrease in overall revenues for the group to $1.2 billion, although the group’s ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, drepreciation and amortization) grew to $39 million from a loss of $3 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Nelson said: “Our price increases and cost-saving initiatives allowed us to grow our ebitda and margins in the first quarter as we continued our focus on profitable rental transactions and keeping our fleet size in line with demand.

“Importantly, each of our operating segments reported a year-on-year improvement in ebitda and volume comparisons strengthened each month during the quarter and again in April, led by an improvement in business travel.

“We continue to be optimistic about our earnings potential for the year.”

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