Troubled car rental firm Avis Europe saw its shares fall seven per cent yesterday after it warned difficult trading conditions had continued into its new financial year.
The group, which owns the Budget and Avis brands, said revenues at all of its business divisions were lower than last year during the four months to the end of April.
A weak performance by its leisure hire arm and its business providing replacement vehicles after breakdowns were largely to blame, offsetting "modest" volume growth in its premium and corporate divisions.
Avis had already warned in February that it expected tough trading conditions to continue throughout 2005. The firm has been hit by the recent economic downturn, as well as the growing trend for people to hire cars online.
It told its annual meeting that it was now forecasting lower revenue growth for the full year, although cost savings meant it was not changing its profits expectations.
The corporate division, which provides company car fleets, recorded higher sales volumes but this was offset by pressure on prices, especially in France.
In its last financial year, Avis saw profits before tax and exceptional items fall to 54.2 million euros (£37.3 million) against 59.4 million euros (£40.8 million) previously.