Dollar Thrifty well positioned for 2009

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Car Rental News - 08/01/2009


The rental car company said that its year ended with an unrestricted cash balance of more than $210 million.

For its fourth and final quarter in 2008, the group’s operating losses and changes to its working capital were offset by a $100 million cash dividend that came from Dollar Thrifty’s vehicle finance arm, paid in November. The cash balance at the end of the year was nearly the same as it was at the end of the third quarter.

The group president and CEO Scott L. Thompson commented: "These are uncertain times in the overall economy and particularly in the automobile and travel industries. Ending the quarter with estimated unrestricted cash of over $210 million and tangible net worth provides us with financial capacity to continue to execute our strategic plans over the coming months as we, and the entire rental car industry, deal with a less robust overall economy and a difficult used vehicle market."

He added: "As anticipated, the fourth quarter was extremely challenging due to current economic conditions. Based on preliminary data, our results were negatively impacted in the areas of utilization, rate per day and vehicle depreciation costs. Although we will end the quarter with a loss, our results were in line with expectations.”

Thomson noted that the focus of Dollar Thrifty’s management team continues to be on its cash flow and that it had been making good strides in that area, while also actively working on reducing overall operating costs to prepare for the financial challenges they are expecting in 2009.

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