Avis Europe has warned customers to expect price hikes in the future in the face of lower demand.
In an interim management statement, the car giant said it has kept a “very tight” rein on fleet costs as demand has slackened so it has pushed up prices for both leisure and businesses.
The Berkshire-based firm cut car numbers by almost a fifth to 84,000 at the half-year stage, and has implemented a price hike policy and fleet reductions in order to reduce overheads during the economic downturn.
It said in a statement: “We have kept a very strong control over all cost lines, including further redundancies and the continuation of the group-wide recruitment and salary freeze.”
“These cost actions will drive a full-year increase in staff productivity, despite the reduction in revenues.
“In addition, post the peak summer trading period, we are now completing optimisation of the synergies between the Avis and Budget corporately-owned operations in Switzerland, Austria, France and the UK.
“All these actions will lead to a further exceptional restructuring charge of circa €11m in the second half.’
The car rental company also reported a successful summer trading period in July and August, with a significant improvement in revenue per day, a lower level of volume decline and a strong increase in utilisation.
Its smaller fleet has boosted usage rates and eased costs as well as offset declines in business volumes.
It has also applied a group-wide pay freeze as well as a further programme of redundancies.
While the hire firm’s cost-cutting drive will increase staff productivity, the company said it remained “cautious on both consumer and corporate spending” in the gloomy climate.