Dollar Thrifty Posts Record 1Q Profit

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. reported net income of $27.3 million for first quarter of 2010, compared to a net loss of $8.9 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Non-GAAP net income for the 2010 first quarter was $23.0 million, compared to a non-GAAP net loss of $11.8 million for the 2009 first quarter. Corporate Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter was $49.4 million, compared to a loss of $2.4 million in the year-ago period.

"This marks our fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement in Corporate Adjusted EBITDA and the most profitable first quarter in the company's history. Our strategy of maintaining price discipline, focusing on cost efficiency, and continually working to lower our fleet operating costs continues to yield results," said Scott L. Thompson, president and chief executive officer.

Dollar Thrifty's total revenue reached $348.3 million in the first quarter, compared to $362.4 million in the year-ago period. The decline in revenue was primarily driven by a 7.4 percent decrease in rental days, partially offset by a 3.9 percent improvement in revenue per day. On a same store basis, rental revenues for locations that were open during both periods were consistent with prior year's first quarter.

Dollar Thrifty noted that the closing of unprofitable stores during 2009 continues to benefit its return on assets. The first quarter 2010 average fleet was down 5.2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2009, while the ending fleet was up 2.4 percent from the first quarter of 2009.

"We are pleased with our same store results for the quarter, which were in line with our expectations. The industry benefited somewhat from Easter being earlier this year than last year, which will be a minor head wind in the second quarter. During the first quarter, we were able to continue to maintain price discipline while capturing an acceptable level of rental days," said Thompson.

Vehicle depreciation per unit for the first quarter of 2010 totaled a very favorable $206 per month. Vehicle utilization was 80.3 percent, down 180 basis points from last year's first quarter. Operating expenses totaled 65.5 percent of revenues in the first quarter of 2010, compared to 63.9 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

Based on the strength of its first quarter operating results and its expectations for continued favorable conditions in the used-vehicle markets and improving industry rental days, Dollar Thrifty is providing an update to its outlook for 2010 for revenue, fleet costs and Corporate Adjusted EBITDA.

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