Europcar, the leader in car rental services in Europe, today announced its financial results for the year 2010.
Philippe Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer of Europcar Groupe, commented:
“Our 2010 results show the return to growth for Europcar, after 18 months of business contraction. This, together with the full effect of the reorganization measures implemented in 2009, resulted in improved profitability. With the extension of the maturities of our main fleet financing facility and half of our corporate debt, we have time in front of us to grow our business. To this end, in 2010 we built our 3-Year Plan, to enhance growth and improve financial performance over 2011-2013.
The recovery in demand remains modest though, and many situations across the globe have an impact on the travel industry. These challenges may also represent opportunities. The agility of Europcar’s organization is more relevant than ever to face today’s fast-changing business environment.”
The adjusted operating income and margin measures above (unaudited) exclude the estimated interest expense in fleet operating leases which by nature are fleet financing cost, charges resulting from the accounting treatment of the acquisitions carried out in 2007 and 2008, as well as one-off expenses and reorganization charges incurred in connection with these acquisitions and in response to the economic downturn. They also exclude goodwill impairment charges and non-recurring expenses.
They are not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for comparable IFRS measures. Europcar believes these adjusted financial measures are helpful in assessing its past financial performance and its future results.
Average net debt includes the average debt equivalent of the outstanding fleet operating leases, estimated on basis of the average value of fleet under operating leases in each period. *restated at constant 2010 exchange rates
Return to revenue Growth
For the year ended December 31, 2010, Europcar’s consolidated revenue rose by 4.6% to €1.973 billion, from €1.886 billion in 2009, restated at constant exchange rates.
Average Revenue Per Day (RPD) rose by 3.7% in the year, in line with the 3.4% increase reported for the full year 2009. Overall for the year, rental day volume increased by 0.9% compared with the 2009 level.
Europcar has recorded continuous and significant improvements in RPD over the past 10 quarters. Europcar’s leadership in the European market has enabled the Group to maintain pricing discipline and continue the actions begun in the 3rd quarter of 2008 to improve the customer mix.
Strong improvement in operating margin
The Company’s adjusted operating margin advanced to 12.3% in 2010, from 11.5% in 2009.
Along with the revenue growth, the leaner cost structure resulting from the measures taken in 2009 to adapt the company’s fleet size and organization to lower demand and tight control on fleet volume and holding cost account for the improvement in operating profitability in the period.
Fleet utilization remained stable at a high level, 73.6% (73.7% in 2009).
Net debt remains under tight control
Average net debt remained under control, and its increase was contained to 3.0% at constant exchange rates. This reflects the 1.1% increase in average fleet in the year and a slight increase in the average value of fleet per unit.
Successful refinancing of the main fleet financing facility and of half of the corporate debt
In 2010, Europcar refinanced its main line of fleet financing, more than nine months ahead of its contractual maturity in May 2011. The new financing consists of a bank facility put in place in August of €1.3 billion, maturing in 2014, and bonds issued in late June for €250 million (maturity 2017, coupon 9.75%).
The Group also took advantage of favorable conditions in the bond market at the end of the year to extend the maturity of approximately half of its acquisition debt. The issue of €400 million in new bonds with a maturity in 2018 (9.375% fixed coupon) enabled early repayment of €375 million in bonds maturing in 2014.
Last year Europcar was recognised as the World’s Leading Car Hire company by the prestigious World Travel Awards.