Paris-based Europcar announced its financial results last week for the first quarter of 2013. Total revenue dropped 2.5%, from 391.5 million euros ($503.9 million) in the first quarter of 2012 to 381.9 euros ($491.6 million).

However, corporate EBITDA improved by 18.1% in Q1 2013 compared with Q1 2012.

"In a quarter of traditionally low activity for our industry and in a challenging economic environment, Europcar succeeded in improving its corporate EBITDA despite a slowdown in revenue," said Roland Keppler, chief executive officer of Europcar group. "The many initiatives taken on costs and cash flow in the framework of the group's Fast Lane 2014 transformation plan combined with improved fleet utilization and new customer approach, yield tangible impact. Europcar is increasingly well positioned to consolidate its results and to capture the long-term growth perspectives of the mobility markets."

Overall, Europcar maintained its rental day volume in the first quarter compared with last year, while utilization increased 0.9 points to 72.6%. Average revenue per day (RPD) dipped 2.8% year over year, which Europcar attributes to a “cost-sensitive customer attitude” and an increase in the rental duration compared to last year.

On the leisure side, the low-cost brand InterRent was rolled out in Portugal, the U.K., France and Spain. The opening of a German branch is scheduled for May. Europcar reports that a positive trend in the leisure segment was offset by the slowdown in demand in the corporate segment.

Europcar launched its new "Moving Your Way" websites in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain, as well as in five franchised countries (Austria, Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland).

In terms of management changes, Europcar reports that the management team appointed in February 2012 has been completed and that the positions of group chief commercial officer and group chief transformation officer have been created. In addition, the managing directors for Europcar Belgium and U.K. were given oversight respectively of Fleet and Mobility Innovation, and of International Operation IT.

 Q1 2012  
€ million Consolidated at constant exchange rates Q1 2013 Change
Revenue 391.5 381.9 -2.50%
Adjusted operating income1 -2.5 0.1 105.40%
Adjusted operating income margin -0.60% 0.00%  
Adjusted Corporate EBITDA2 -28.5 -23.3 18.10%
Net debt3 -2,869.90 -2,898.10 1.00%
Rental Day Volume -1.60% 0.00%  
(change vs. prior year)      
Average fleet (in units) 158,107 158,088 0.00%

1) Excluding estimated interest expense in operating lease rents
2) Adjusted Corporate EBITDA refers to Adjusted operating income with the add-back of non-fleet depreciation and amortization less fleet financing costs and estimated interest expense in fleet operating lease rents
3) Average net debt including debt equivalent of fleet operating leases and corporate notes