United Rentals to boost salesforce after 'strong' first quarter

By Murray Pollok22 April 2013

United Rentals will increase its sales force by at least 10% this year to capitalise on its planned US$1.5 billion expenditure on fleet and to gain market share in its key accounts and specialty rentals businesses.

The company reported rental revenues up 5.4% to $916 million with total revenues of $1.1 billion in the first quarter of the year. EBITDA was $451 million, an increase of $59 million over the same period in 2012.

Michael Kneeland, chief executive officer of United Rentals, said the first quarter had seen a strong start to what he called a “pivotal year. Revenue, rates and time utilisation all met or exceeded our expectations, and our adjusted EBITDA margin of 41% was a first quarter record for us.

“We remain solidly on track for a year of disciplined growth, including a rental rate increase of 4.5% on total revenue of approximately $5 billion."

Mr Kneeland said that as end markets recovered United had “an opportunity to gain ground where it will be most profitable: with key accounts of all types and specialty rentals. We plan to expand our sales force by at least 10% this year to capitalise on over a billion dollars of net fleet purchases.”

United said it generated cost synergies of $53 million in the quarter from the RSC integration, and said it still hoped to see between $230 and $250 million in savings annually.

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