Higher demand helps Avis Budget narrow loss

By Danny King
Avis Budget Group narrowed its fourth-quarter loss by 73% from a year earlier on higher demand in North America and a because of a one-time expense in 2011 from its acquisition of Avis Europe.

Avis Budget’s fourth-quarter revenue rose 4.2% to $1.7 billion and beat the $1.63 billion average analyst estimate in a Thomson Reuters poll. The company boosted rental days by 6%, which more than offset a 2% decline in average daily rate.

Avis Budget’s net loss narrowed to $46 million from a $170 million loss a year earlier, when it took a $117 million noncash licensing charge related to the Avis Europe acquisition.

The company earlier this week also said it received U.S. antitrust clearance for its pending $500 million buyout of car-sharing company Zipcar. That transaction is expected to close by April.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.
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