Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group announced April 21 that based on preliminary results, it expects total vehicle rental revenues for the first quarter of 2009 to increase approximately 2-3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2008, as rental revenues for the first quarter were favorably impacted by an approximate 10 percent increase in rate per day, more than offsetting an approximate 7 percent decline in transaction days. Additionally, rental revenues for the first quarter of 2009 are projected to be down approximately 8-9 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008, as an approximate 4 percent improvement in pricing on a year-over-year basis did not fully offset an approximate 12 percent decline in transaction days. The company noted that the Easter holiday fell in the second quarter this year versus the first quarter in 2008, and February 2009 had one less day than February 2008.
"Although market conditions and fleet cost remain challenging, our revenue management initiatives combined with what appear to be improved industry-wide supply and demand factors resulted in double-digit improvements in rate per day compared to the depressed pricing levels of the fourth quarter 2008," said Scott L. Thompson, president and CEO.
The above data relating to the first quarter results are preliminary estimates based on information available at this time. The company will release its first quarter results on May 6, 2009.