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Aaron Rents, Inc. Reports Record Results for Fourth Quarter and Year 2000

02/21/2001

ATLANTA, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Aaron Rents, Inc. (NYSE: RNT), the nation's leader in the rental, rental purchase and specialty retailing of residential and office furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances, today announced record revenues and earnings for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 31, 2000. It was the Company's ninth consecutive year of record revenues and earnings.

For the three months ended December 31, revenues advanced 12% to $130.8 million compared to $116.3 million for the fourth quarter of 1999. Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2000 increased to $6.3 million versus $6.2 million for the fourth quarter of 1999. Diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2000 were $.32 compared to $.31 per share for the fourth quarter of 1999.

The quarter was the Company's 36th consecutive quarter of record revenues and earnings.

Revenues for the year ended December 31, 2000 increased 15% to $502.9 million compared to $437.4 million for 1999. Net earnings for 2000 were $27.3 million compared to $25.6 million for 1999. Diluted earnings per share increased to $1.37 compared to $1.26 per share for 1999.

Aaron's Rental Purchase division increased its revenues 22% to a record $89.1 million for the fourth quarter compared to $72.8 million for fourth quarter 1999. For the year 2000, rental purchase revenues increased 25% to $325.8 million compared to $261.6 million for 1999. Systemwide revenues for the Company, which includes revenues of rental purchase franchised stores, advanced 17% to $171.8 million for the quarter and increased 20% to $656.0 million for the year.

Revenues from Company-operated rental purchase stores open in comparable quarters grew 8.9% during the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year ago. In addition, revenues from the Company's rent-to-rent stores open in comparable quarters grew 3.2% during the quarter compared to the same quarter last year.

Rental purchase stores, including Company-operated and franchised, increased to 456 at year-end, a gain of 88 stores or a 24% increase in store count for the year. At December 31, 2000 the Company had 263 Company-operated and 193 franchise stores open. The backlog of franchised stores to open in future periods was 146 at year-end.

"We are pleased with the record growth in 2000, our Company's best year ever," said R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "As expected, the rapid expansion of new store openings during the year, combined with the costs incurred in the very timely and strategic acquisition of 27 Heilig-Meyers locations in the fourth quarter, affected our earnings growth for the quarter."

"Also, as expected we saw strong growth in the fourth quarter for Aaron's Sales and Leasing, our rental purchase division, as revenues increased by more than 22% compared to the same quarter of 1999. The acquisition of the former Heilig-Meyers locations together with the acquisition of 10 stores in Puerto Rico last year and nine stores in Louisiana and Texas in February 2001 significantly accelerated our expansion plan for the 2001 year. We are looking forward to continuing strong expansion of our Company."

Aaron Rents, Inc., based in Atlanta, currently has more than 570 Company- operated and franchised stores in 42 states and Puerto Rico for the rental and sale of residential and office furniture, accessories, consumer electronics and household appliances. The Company also manufactures furniture, bedding and accessories at 10 facilities in four states.

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

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1993: Statements in this news release regarding Aaron Rents, Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 1999, which discussion is incorporated herein by this reference.

                      Aaron Rents, Inc. and Subsidiaries
                     Consolidated Statements of Earnings
                   (In thousands, except per share amounts)

                                Three Months Ended         Twelve Months Ended
                                   December 31,                 December 31,
                                2000          1999         2000          1999

    Revenues:
      Rentals and Fees        $93,649       $80,950     $359,880     $318,154
      Retail Sales             14,116        15,055       62,417       62,296
      Non-Retail Sales         19,039        16,755       65,498       45,394
      Other                     3,984         3,552       15,125       11,515
        Total                 130,788       116,312      502,920      437,359

    Costs and Expenses:
      Retail Cost of Sales     10,216        11,361       44,156       45,254
      Non-Retail Cost of Sales 17,872        15,586       60,996       42,451
      Operating Expenses       59,285        51,651      227,587      201,923
      Depreciation of Rental
        Merchandise            31,558        26,291      120,650      102,324
      Interest                  1,668         1,375        5,625        4,105
        Total                 120,599       106,264      459,014      396,057

    Earnings Before Taxes      10,189        10,048       43,906       41,302

    Income Taxes                3,841         3,808       16,645       15,700

    Net Earnings               $6,348        $6,240      $27,261      $25,602

    Earnings Per Share           $.32          $.31        $1.38        $1.28

    Earnings Per Share
      Assuming Dilution          $.32          $.31        $1.37        $1.26

    Weighted Average
      Shares Outstanding       19,816        19,916       19,825       20,062

    Weighted Average
      Shares Outstanding
      Assuming Dilution        19,962        20,171       19,967       20,335

SOURCE Aaron Rents, Inc.

CONTACT: Gilbert L. Danielson, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of Aaron Rents, Inc., 404-231-0011/

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