Lisle, Ill. -- Budget Group announced that the company expects to meet its previously announced earnings guidance for third quarter 2001. In spite of the travel slump brought on by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the company said its diluted earnings per share are expected to be on the low end of its previous guidance of $1.12 to $1.24, versus $0.30 reported for third quarter 2000.
Budget responded immediately to the travel decline by reducing its fleet an additional 12% below normal seasonal fleet adjustments of 15%, the company said. As a result, car utilization is up over last year's levels, despite a decline in airport car rental transactions of nearly 25%.
"The diversification of our business model -- airport and local market, car and truck rental -- mitigates weakness in any one segment," said Sandy Miller, chairman and CEO of Budget Group. "Since Sept. 11, local market car rental transactions have been tracking above prior year and our truck rental business remains on plan."