Herc Rentals reported a net loss of US$39.2 million (€35.99 million) in the first quarter of 2017, or US$1.39 (€1.28) per share, compared to a net loss of US$1.5 million (€1.38 million) in the first quarter of 2016.
The US-based rental company said its first-quarter net loss reflected an increase of US$31.3 million (€28.74 million) in interest expenses related to debt issued in June 2016, stand-alone public company and other costs, as well as continued weakness in upstream oil and gas markets.
Herc did, however, record a group revenues increase of 6.5% to US$389.4 million (€357.56 million) compared to the same period a year ago. Its rental revenues rose 4.2% to $320.6 million (€294.39 million).
It said rental revenues in key markets, excluding currency, increased 8.5% and pricing improved 1.7%, compared to the first quarter 2016.
Larry Silber, president and CEO, Herc Rentals, said, “Our revenues and pricing were strong in the first quarter despite the industry’s normal seasonality and continuing headwinds in upstream oil and gas.
“Rental revenue growth in key markets was particularly robust, and we remain confident in our strategy. The continuing progress we are making in expanding our customer base and increasing revenue in key markets was offset by the impact of stand-alone public company costs, certain business transformation and other costs, and investments in our sales organization and branch operations.”
Mr Silber added that the company was shifting its fleet mix to include a greater variety of high-market machines. In addition, he said, net fleet capital expenditures reflected its disciplined approach to capital management through well-managed fleet rotation.
He added, “We expect to deliver improved EBITDA margins over time as our expansion in high-growth, urban markets offers opportunities to outperform overall equipment rental industry growth rates.”