Hertz Global Holdings reported a $1.21 billion fourth-quarter loss last week, with quarterly revenue dropping 16 percent to $1.79 billion, compared with $2.14 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Worldwide equipment rental revenues for the fourth quarter were $370.7 million, down 20.8 percent compared with $468.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. continued to achieve volume growth in Canada, especially western Canada, where oil industry-related rental activity remains strong although the rate of growth has slowed. Also HERC has continued to improve its diversification into industrial and fragmented sectors of the United States equipment rental market.
Adjusted pre-tax income for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $46 million, a 55-percent decrease compared with the same period of 2007.
Revenues from worldwide equipment rental for the year were $1.66 billion, a 5.6-percent decrease compared with $1.76 billion in 2007. Adjusted pre-tax income for the year was $237.2 million, a 64.1-percent decrease from 2007.
“Industrial end markets like aerial, electrical, pumping and safety equipment essentially shut down in the last month of the year,” said Hertz chairman and CEO Mark Frissora. “We have reduced our worldwide equipment rental fleet by roughly 11 percent compared with the fourth quarter last year and by 8 percent sequentially from the third quarter on a first-cost basis.”
On the positive side, Frissora said, “Our HERC business captured 38 new accounts at the $500,000-plus annual revenue category during 2008. This new business has the potential to generate about $43 million annually. Sixteen of these new national accounts were won in the industrial sector where construction and fragmented markets made up the balance.”