Fleet News

TLS reveals profits amid buyout rumours

VEHICLE rental group TLS has announced record pre-tax profits of £5.8m for 1996 amid continuing buy-out speculation. End-of-year results show pre-tax profits up from £4.2 million in 1995, and a 29% increase in turnover from £40.5 million in 1995 to £52.4 million in 1996. Operating profit was up 40% at £9.4 million.

The last quarter saw TLS buy two rental companies, Commercial Recovery and Repairs and Halfpenny Self Drive, and increase its fleet to 9,040 vehicles. There has been speculation that TLS itself is ripe for acquisition with GE Capital rumoured to be among the possible purchasers, but TLS chief executive Peter Roberts said he was not aware of any such plans. The company was, however, looking to make further acquisitions itself.

The acquisitions of CRR, trading as CRR Truck Rental, and Halfpenny in October and December 1996 have helped TLS start 1997 ahead of budget. They also helped the business develop three trading divisions - TLS Vehicle Rental, contract hire division TLS Auto-Rentals and CRR Truck Rental.

Last year saw the group open four greenfield branches, bringing the group total to 26.

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