GREENWICH, Conn. — United Rentals totaled $3.11 billion in total 2004 revenue, an increase of 8.4 percent over 2003's total revenue of $2.87 billion.
United officials said the company will delay finalizing its 2004 results to allow additional time to review matters relating to the previously announced SEC fact-finding inquiry. However, the company did release partial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2004.
Total revenues increased 12.7 percent for the fourth quarter and same-store rental revenues in the general rentals segment increased 13.1 percent for the fourth quarter and 10.9 percent for the full year. Rental rates increased 7.4 percent for the fourth quarter and 7.5 percent for the full year. Cash flow from operations was $761 million for the full year, and free cash flow was $385.1 million after total rental and non-rental capital expenditures of $635 million, up from $145.7 in free cash flow in 2003.
Rental revenues for 2004 totaled $2.3 billion, an industry record, with $610.1 million in the fourth quarter.
Total revenues for the fourth quarter were $836.4 million, up 12.7 percent from $742.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2003. Dollar utilization for the fourth quarter of 2004 was 62.9 percent, a 4.6 percent year-over-year increase from Q403. The size of the rental fleet, as measured by the original equipment cost, increased to $3.7 billion on Dec. 31, 2004, up from $3.5 billion at the end of 2003. The average age of the rental fleet was 40 months at the end of 2004 and 2003.
Dollar utilization for the full year 2004 was 60.1 percent, up 3 percentage points from 2003. Total capital expenditures were $634.6 million in 2004, compared to $377.9 million in 2003.
Fourth-quarter 2004 revenues for the general rental segment were $771.7 million, a 15.7 percent year-over-year increase from $667.3 million in 2003. Full year 2004 revenues for the general rental segment were $2.85 billion, up from $2.54 billion in 2003. Rental revenues generated by sharing equipment among branches were 11.8 percent of segment rental revenues for the full year 2004.
Fourth-quarter 2004 revenues for the traffic control segment were $254.9 million, down from $330.2 million in 2003.
“Our 2005 outlook is for total revenues of $3.4 billion,” said CEO Wayland Hicks. “This outlook assumes 11 percent revenue growth in the general rentals segment, partially offset by a continued decline in our traffic control segment. Growth in general rental is expected to be driven by continuing our rate initiatives, targeted for at least a 5-percent increase in rental rates; expanding our rental fleet; the planned opening of 30 to 35 new locations; and increasing contractor supplies revenues 25 percent. Our outlook assumes continued modest growth in non-residential construction, which, despite growth in 2004, is still about 20 percent below peak historical levels. We continue to feel positive about industry fundamentals and the direction of our business. We remain focused on our goals of driving revenue growth, improving our margins and increasing our return on capital. We plan to achieve these goals primarily through strong organic growth and new branch openings.”
In other United news, the company recently opened a contractor supply distribution center in Aurora, Ill., as well as a new general rental branch in Caspar, Wyo.
Based in Greenwich, Conn., United Rentals is No. 1 on the RER 100.