Fleet News

Enterprise heads into the black

ENTERPRISE Rent-a-Car is gearing up to celebrate its most successful year in the UK with its first full year profits in the country.

At the start of last year, the firm announced it had started to move into profit and was targeting double-digit growth in an aggressive bid to win market share. Fleet NewsNet understands that 2000 year end results from 2000 will suggest the firm has succeeded.

Jim Burrell, managing director, said the result was the result of a steady improvement in business for the firm that could not be seen simply by looking at financial results.

The US-based firm will hit profit for the first time since launching in the UK in 1994, with pre-tax losses reported for 1999 of £3.79 million on turnover of £61.18 million.

Burrell points out that the losses were dramatically down on pre-tax losses of £15 million for 1998 on turnover of £30 million. The firm is expecting a similar improvement for 2000.He denied that residual value falls were causing the firm any difficulty, arguing that transaction prices and holding costs were remaining roughly static.

'In the past year, there has not been a radical change in the cost of running a car, but we expect cars to cost us money,' said Burrell. 'Our business model expects that, so we can price to take running costs into account.'

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