Aaron Rents, Inc. Reports Results for Fourth Quarter and Year; Sees Strong Growth for 2002 and 2003

February 21, 2002

The Company achieved record revenues in 2001 led by its rapidly growing Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership division, which increased revenues over 20% in 2001 including an 7.7% increase in same store revenues for the year while expanding its store count by 117 stores, an increase of 26% in stores open. The outlook for 2002 is a continuing quarterly growth rate of more than 20% in sales and lease ownership revenues, stated R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aaron Rents, Inc.

"We are very pleased with our record expansion of stores in 2001," said Mr. Loudermilk. "Although this rapid opening of new stores affected earnings during the year, it has set the stage for strong future revenue and earnings growth."

For the three months ended December 31, revenues advanced to a record $140.0 million, up 7% compared to $130.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2000. Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2001 were $2.0 million, or $.10 per diluted share, compared to $6.3 million, or $.32 per diluted share, in the prior year. Revenues for the year ended December 31 gained 9% to $546.7 million versus $502.9 million for 2000. Net earnings for 2001 were $12.3 million, or $.61 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $27.3 million, or $1.37 per diluted share, a year ago.

Net earnings were adversely impacted in 2001 by the investment associated with the rapid opening of new sales and lease ownership stores. These openings reduced diluted earnings per share by approximately $.15 in the fourth quarter and $.42 for the year. In addition, during the third quarter the Company recorded special non-cash charges of $5.6 million, or $.18 per diluted share, relating to the recording of future real estate lease obligations of closed rent-to-rent stores and the write-down of inventory and other assets within the division. Excluding these special charges, diluted earnings per share would have been $.79 in 2001.

Revenues of the Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership division increased 20% to a record $107.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2001 compared to $89.1 million for the corresponding quarter of 2000. For the year 2001, sales and lease ownership revenues advanced 21% to a record $394.8 million compared to $325.8 million last year. Revenues from Company-operated sales and lease ownership stores open in comparable periods grew 5.0% in the fourth quarter and 7.7% for the year.

Company systemwide revenues, including revenues from franchised sales and lease ownership stores, also set record levels increasing 10% to $189.1 million for the quarter and rising 12% to $735.4 million for the year.

The Company's debt under its revolving credit agreement at the end of year was $72 million, down $28 million from the levels at the end of December 2000.

The total count at year end of sales and lease ownership stores open, including both Company-operated and franchised stores, reached 573, an addition of 117 stores for the year -- a 26% increase on top of a 24% growth the previous year. At December 31, 2001 the Company had a total of 648 stores open systemwide, including 209 franchised stores, in 43 states and Puerto Rico.

"The outlook for 2002 and 2003 is very positive," Loudermilk continued. "We expect in 2002 that revenues will be in excess of $610 million with systemwide revenues exceeding $800 million, and that revenues in the sales and lease ownership division will continue growing at a quarterly rate of more than 20%. After several years of accelerated new store growth we anticipate a lesser number of openings in 2002, approximately 10 Company-operated and 20 franchised Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership stores, as we focus on building revenues and earnings in existing stores. For the first quarter we expect diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $.23 to $.27 per share, and for the year earnings in the range of $1.15 to $1.25 per share. We anticipate that 2003 will be a very strong year for the Company with earnings growth in excess of 25% as our Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership stores mature in revenues and earnings."

Aaron Rents, Inc., based in Atlanta, currently has more than 650 Company-operated and franchised stores across the United States and in Puerto Rico for the rental and sale of residential and office furniture, accessories, consumer electronics and household appliances. The Company manufactures furniture, bedding and accessories at 11 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 1995: 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 and 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 2000, 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,
                              2001          2000         2001          2000

     Rentals and Fees     $101,419       $93,649     $403,385      $359,880
     Retail Sales           13,520        14,116       60,481        62,417
     Non-Retail Sales       20,132        19,039       66,212        65,498

     Other                   4,914         3,984       16,603        15,125
      Total                139,985       130,788      546,681       502,920

    Costs and Expenses:
     Retail Cost of Sales    9,920        10,216       43,987        44,156
     Non-Retail Cost of
      Sales                 18,730        17,872       61,999        60,996
     Operating Expenses     69,349        59,285      276,682       227,587
     Depreciation of Rental
      Merchandise           37,562        31,558      137,900       120,650

     Interest                1,211         1,668        6,258         5,625
      Total                136,772       120,599      526,826       459,014

    Earnings Before Taxes    3,213        10,189       19,855        43,906

    Income Taxes             1,212         3,841        7,519        16,645

    Net Earnings            $2,001        $6,348      $12,336       $27,261

    Earnings Per Share        $.10          $.32         $.62         $1.38

    Earnings Per Share
     Assuming Dilution        $.10          $.32         $.61         $1.37

    Weighted Average
     Shares Outstanding     19,969        19,816       19,928        19,825

    Weighted Average
     Shares Outstanding
     Assuming Dilution      20,153        19,962       20,141        19,967


CONTACT:          Gilbert L. Danielson, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial
                  Officer of Aaron Rents, Inc., +1-404-231-0011