Avis Budget Reports Record Q1 as Corporate Demand Returns

After a slow start to Avis Budget Group's first quarter because of the effects of the Covid-19 omicron variant, as other travel suppliers have reported, demand picked up around Presidents' Day and continued into March and the second quarter, company executives said during a Tuesday earnings call.

"We reported our best-ever first-quarter results in our company's history," Avis Budget CEO Joe Ferraro said. "We generated $810 million of adjusted [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] in the first quarter. That's higher than the full-year adjusted EBITDA of 2019. And we delivered this in what is typically the seasonally lowest quarter of year."

In January, leisure demand softened significantly and corporate demand was "nonexistent," according to Ferraro. But in the latter part of the first quarter, corporate demand improved "to points above 2019 levels during the same period that quarter," he added. "As I said on the last call, I believe strongly that commercial business is good for our company. It gives you a midweek peak on how to utilize the fleet more effectively. … I think going forward you will see a good mix especially in the second quarter of both commercial and leisure."