Car rental giant Hertz Global Holdings accelerated to a record net profit of $2.1 billion in 2022 on “renewed demand” for travel from both the corporate and leisure markets.
The company, which also owns the Dollar and Thrifty rental brands, increased revenue by 18 per cent from $7.34 billion in 2021 to $8.68 billion last year as demand continued its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stephen Scherr, Hertz’s chair and CEO, said the company had improved its operating performance during 2022, alongside “more disciplined” fleet management and a “commitment” to financial returns.
“Our team delivered on renewed demand for travel, which is continuing. In 2023, we will build on our progress to grow our business across the Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty brands,” added Scherr.
“We look to our investments in electrification and technology to yield increasing operating leverage and improved returns and an even better product to our customers around the world.”
During the final quarter of 2022, Hertz increased its average number of rental vehicles by 3 per cent year-on-year to just under 466,000 with a utilisation rate of 79 per cent, up by one percentage point on Q4 of 2021.
The company’s key strategic initiatives include expanding the availability of electric vehicles (EVs) across the world - Hertz last month agreed a new partnership with ride-hailing app Uber to provide up to 25,000 EVs in major European cities.
Hertz is also planning to “revitalise” the Dollar and Thrifty brands, as well as “evolving our relationships” with corporate clients.
During an earnings call, Hertz’s CFO Kenny Cheung said corporate activity “proved strong” at the end of last year, with its international business sales, outside the Americas, rising to 50 per cent of 2019 levels in the final quarter of 2022 – up from 45 per cent in the third quarter.
Scherr added that this momentum had carried on in January 2023, with corporates also more “focused” on hiring more EVs to satisfy their own environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments.