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Avis Europe first half revenue down 5.5%

Avis Europe, the market-leading European car rental group has announced first-half results (for the period ending 30 June) showing revenue down 5.5% at €527 million, including €13 million from acquisitions. While billed days were 1.7% up on a year earlier, the average rental rate per day was 6.7% lower, resulting in an operating margin reduction before exceptional items of 8.7%.

Pre-tax profit was €14 million. Avis Europe chairman Sir Bob Reid said, “Market demand showed signs of recovery from the second quarter, with the exception of long-haul travel, although prices were still weaker. Summer trading has met expectations.”

Overall Avis Europe expects full year revenues, excluding Budget Rent-a-Car, to be 4-7% lower than 2002. It has not revised its expectations for full year earnings.

Avis Europe's majority shareholder d'Ieteren was also expected to announced first-half results today indicating the negative effect of weak new-car markets in its Benelux import and distribution operations.

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