RSC Equipment Rental posted a 19.6-percent fourth-quarter rental volume increase, the company’s third consecutive quarter of volume growth. RSC posted total revenue of $339 million in the quarter, compared with $290 million for the same period a year ago, a 16.8-percent jump, while rental revenue climbed from $244 million in the year-ago quarter to $287 million this year. Fourth-quarter net loss was $7 million compared with $29 million a year ago.
Average fleet utilization for the fourth quarter was 67.7 percent, compared with 56.3 percent for last year’s fourth quarter. Rental rates improved 0.8 percent compared with the third quarter, but still fell below last year’s fourth quarter by 1.9 percent. For the fourth quarter, the company invested $61 million in gross rental capex.
RSC said 59 percent of its revenue came from industrial customers.
For the full-year 2010, total revenue dropped 3.8 percent, from $1.283 billion in 2009 to $1.234 billion this year. Equipment rental revenue dropped 1.2 percent for the full year, from $1.073 billion a year ago to $1.060 billion this year.
“We generated exceptional volume growth of 20 percent and solid positive sequential pricing of 0.8 percent in the quarter,” said Erik Olsson, president and CEO of RSC. “This is clear evidence that we are executing well and taking full advantage of an improving economic environment. During the challenging 2009 and 2010 periods, our strategic focus was on preparing every facet of our business for the anticipated recovery by investing in our fleet, footprint, people and technology. This preparation positioned us well as economic conditions improved, yielding volume growth, incremental price increases and margin expansion. We are excited about our prospects as our markets continue to benefit from the economic recovery.”
The company said business activity in the non-residential construction end market declined in the fourth quarter, while industrial and non-construction improved on a year-over-year basis. The company expects these trends to continue in the first quarter.
“We see continued strengthening in the industrial markets and signs that the non-residential markets are bottoming and beginning to turn,” said Olsson. “At the same time, we are benefitting from a trend in the industry that favors renting equipment over committing capital to buy. Demand increases are broadly distributed over geographies and equipment types. As a result, we expect continued favorable year-over-year comparisons in the first quarter and we are optimistic that these positive trends will continue throughout the year.”
Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., RSC Equipment Rental is No. 2 on the RER 100.