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Aaron Rents, Inc. Reports Third Quarter Results; Announces Sale Of Convention Furnishings Division


For the three months ended September 30, Aaron Rents reported that revenues increased to $95.9 million compared to $76.2 million for the same quarter a year ago. Net earnings were $4.9 million compared to $4.8 million, and both earnings per share and earnings per share assuming dilution were $.23 compared to $.25 for the third quarter of 1997.

For the first nine months, revenues rose to $282.5 million compared to $230.2 million for the corresponding period of 1997. Net earnings increased to $15.7 million, compared to $13.8 million, and earnings per share were $.78 versus $.71 per share ($.76 versus $.70 assuming dilution) for the first nine months of 1997.

Revenues of the Aaron's Rental Purchase division increased 43% for the quarter to $50.5 million compared to $35.2 million last year, and increased 41% for the nine months to $146.6 million versus $104.2 million for the 1997 period. Systemwide revenues for the Company, which include revenues of franchised rental purchase stores, were up 30% for the quarter to $117.3 million and up 28% for the nine months to $343.3 million.

``The revenue growth from all aspects of our business is strong,'' said R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. ``As we previously indicated, we were somewhat disappointed in our earnings growth for the quarter. The biggest disappointment was the lack of profitability from our convention furnishings division which we are selling to Cort Business Services Corporation. We expect to recognize a small loss on this sale.

``Combining the Aaron Rents and Cort trade show operations should result in an excellent business for Cort. The divestiture of the convention business will enable us to better focus our management efforts on our core rent-to-rent and rental purchase divisions. We continue to be very optimistic about the long-term outlook for Aaron Rents.''

Aaron Rents, Inc., based in Atlanta, has a total of 421 stores in 32 states for the rental and sale of residential and office furniture and accessories, consumer electronics, and household appliances. The Company manufactures furniture at five plants in Georgia and Florida.

                              Aaron Rents, Inc.
                       Period Ended September 30, 1998
                   (In thousands, except per share amounts)

                                   Three Months                Nine Months
                                  1998      1997             1998       1997
    Revenues                    $95,882   $76,238          $282,523   $230,183
    Net Earnings                  4,906     4,805            15,746     13,750
    Earnings Per Share              .23       .25               .78        .71
    Earnings Per Share
     Assuming Dilution             $.23      $.25              $.76       $.70
    Weighted Average
     Shares Outstanding          21,091    18,963            20,159     19,238
    Weighted Average Shares
     Outstanding Assuming
     Dilution                    21,508    19,548            20,619     19,659

Note: Forward-looking statements in this news release are based on current expectations, which are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may vary materially from these expectations due to such factors as changes in general economic conditions, competition and pricing, customer demand and other issues.

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