United Rentals reports revenue decrease; says COVID plan helped mitigate the impact

July 2020

United Rentals, Stamford, Conn., reported $1.939 billion in total revenue during the 2020 second quarter, down from $2.29 billion in the 2019 second quarter. Rental revenue for the quarter was $1.642 billion, down 16.2 percent compared to $1.960 billion last year. Rental revenue remained down year-over-year throughout the quarter, primarily due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the company says.

Total revenue was $4.064 billion during the first six months of 2020, down compared to $4.407 billion during the same time last year. Rental revenue during the first six months was $3.425 billion, down from $3.755 billion in 2019.

United Rentals’ response plan continues to focus on the five work-streams it highlighted last quarter, including employee safety and well-being, supporting customers, aggressively managing both capital expenditures and costs, and maximizing liquidity. While the company’s operational and financial results in the second quarter were significantly impacted by the economic conditions arising from the pandemic, including the effect of shelter-in-place orders and other market restrictions, the response plan helped mitigate the impact.

“We’re pleased with our second quarter results, which reflect both the flexibility and resiliency of our business model. Our employees did an outstanding job of executing our cost initiatives, while helping our customers operate safely in the midst of the pandemic. I’m inspired by our team’s commitment to our company and the communities we serve,” said Matthew Flannery, CEO, United Rentals.

“We saw a steady recovery in volume beginning in mid-April, which gave us good momentum into the start of our busy season. While visibility is still limited, near-term indicators suggest that the second half of 2020 may track to seasonal patterns in the majority of our markets. Based on this, we have reintroduced guidance. Should things change, our continued focus on cost and capital discipline, along with our strong balance sheet and robust cash generation, will allow us to respond swiftly,” he said.

The company expects to earn $8.05 billion to $8.45 billion in total revenue for 2020. In 2019, the company earned $9.351 billion in total revenue.

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