Ahern Rentals expands despite rental decline

By Patrick Hill01 April 2009

Ahern Rentals in the US is expanding its area of operations to offset declines in rental activity. The Las Vegas-based company said its rental revenues fell by 17% in the first two months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, with sales of new equipment falling 62% in the period. Rental rates over the two months fell 13% and average time utilisation dropped from 66% to 55%.

Chairman Don Ahern said, "We are opening new locations that are synergistic to existing locations in order to drive up utilisation by operning up new markets. That is our primary strategy going forward." In the fourth quarter 2008 Ahern opened depots in Austin and San Antonio, TX, and in the first quarter this year it opened depots in Waco and Odessa, TX and in Charlotte, NC.

"We will probably continue this level of activity until we can maintain our utilisation at a level [we want]. We currently have a handfull of other locations that we're putting together," said Mr Ahern.

For the full year in 2008, revenues rose 12% to US$329.5 million (€247 million), with operating profits falling from $22 million (€16.5 million) to $6.7 million (€5 million). Meanwhile, the company continues to expand, with six new locations opened in recent months and plans for openings in Atlanta, Georgia and Raleigh, North Carolina soon.

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