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Avis Budget: Variant Isn’t Handicapping Bookings

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The Covid-19 delta variant has not negatively impacted Avis Budget Group’s quarterly bookings, company executives Wednesday said during a second-quarter earnings call. “At this time, we are seeing no impact from the Delta variant to our bookings,” Avis Budget Group CEO Joe Ferraro said. “Bookings in the third quarter are continuing their momentum we saw throughout the second quarter, with the summer looking strong.”

Leisure demand “continues to strengthen,” while corporate demand in the second quarter remained relatively weak, according to Avis Budget EVP and CFO Brian Choi. “Commercial demand right now is pretty depressed.” 

Still, corporate demand increased month mover month throughout the in the second quarter, Ferraro said, listing logistics, defense contracting, entertainment, health care and tech as the sectors currently traveling the most. Ferraro said he expects to see substantial corporate demand later in the year.

Helping to head off any potential rental car shortage, Avis Budget increased its average fleet size from the first quarter. In the Americas, the company increased its average fleet size from 290,000 vehicles in the first quarter to 378,000, a 28 percent increase, according to Ferraro. “We worked hand in hand with our OAM partners to make sure we received the deliveries that were slated for the ramp up for the summer period,” said Ferraro. “Deep relationships allowed us to mitigate potential cancellations and capitalize on unforeseen production opportunities,” he said. Fleet utilization stood at 71.3 percent. 

Avis Budget Group’s second-quarter revenue totaled $2.4 billion, up 1 percent from the second quarter of 2019. Net income totaled $398 million, and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization amounted to $624 million, three times the amount in Q2 2019.

RELATED: Avis Budget Group Q1 earnings

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