Dollar Thrifty 3Q Profit Down

In the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. (DTG) reported a 27 percent lower profit of $20.6 million, or 82 cents per share, compared to $28.4 million, or $1.07 per share, a year ago. Sales rose nearly 7 percent to $487.5 million from $456.7 million.

DTG officials blame the lower numbers on significantly higher vehicle depreciation and interest costs and weaker domestic air travel as compared to the 2005 third quarter. The company responded by tightening its fleet size to meet lower-than-expected demand, resulting in achieving higher-than-expected revenue per day, although at lower rental day volumes, officials say.

Also during the third quarter, the company purchased Thrifty Car Rental franchises in Phoenix; Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; and Pensacola, Florida; and both the Thrifty Car Rental and Dollar Rent A Car franchise operations in El Paso, Texas, as part of its continuing franchise acquisition program.

During the third quarter, DTG purchased 918,600 shares under its $300 million share repurchase program at a total cost of $39.3 million and has $208 million of remaining authorization to be completed by December 31, 2008.

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