United Rentals’ Growth Plans to Continue, Hicks Says

United Rentals intends to invest more than $900 million in capital in 2007, CEO Wayland Hicks told RER in a recent interview. Although the interview was granted before United Rentals’ recent announcement that the company is exploring strategic alternatives and that Hicks will retire in June, company officials this week told RER that the company’s growth plans have not changed and that United Rentals is going forward with “business as usual.”

Hicks said United Rentals has budgeted about $125 million in growth capex. “Our outlook is based on the expectation that private non-residential construction spending in North America will continue to grow in 2007, although at a more moderate pace than we saw in 2005 and 2006.”

Hicks also said United Rentals plans to open 30 to 35 new branches in 2007, after opening 36 cold starts in 2006. He added that the company still intends to add about $100 million a year in revenue through acquisition.

The expanded text of RER’s interview with Hicks can be read by scrolling down to Trends & Analysis.

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