United Rentals, Inc., Greenwich, CT, reported fourth quarter sales of $791 million, a decline of 14.5% from fourth quarter 2007. The company recorded a loss of $853 million for the quarter, as compared to profit of $153 million a year ago.
For the full year, sales were $3.3 billion, down 10.8% from the prior year. The full year loss was $704 million.
Our 2008 performance reflects our ability to pull the key levers that are within our control, especially our cost structure, liquidity and fleet performance, to confront a challenging environment, CEO Michael Kneeland said. "We are entering 2009 with a continued focus on cost control, a sound capital structure that provides ample liquidity, and the ability to limit capex and to generate positive cash flow. In January we launched a company-wide initiative for customer service leadership that will give us strategic advantages now and in a recovery."
In 2008, United Rentals closed of consolidated 75 branches and reduced headcount by about 1,000.