SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE|
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE|
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
COMMISSION FILE NO. 001-10308
AVIS BUDGET GROUP, INC.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction of |
incorporation or organization)
|(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)|
|6 Sylvan Way|
|(Address of principal executive offices)||(Zip Code)|
|(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)|
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:
|TITLE OF EACH CLASS||TRADING SYMBOL(S)||NAME OF EACH EXCHANGE ON WHICH REGISTERED|
|Common Stock, Par Value $.01||CAR||The NASDAQ Global Select Market|
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See the definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer||☒||Accelerated filer||☐||Non-accelerated filer||☐|
|Smaller reporting company||☐||Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐ No þ
As of June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $1,199,360,829 based on the closing price of its common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
As of February 12, 2021, the number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s common stock was 69,842,179.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement to be mailed to stockholders in connection with the registrant’s 2021 annual meeting of stockholders (the “Annual Proxy Statement”) are incorporated by reference into Part III hereof.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Certain statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may be considered “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements contained herein are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include information concerning our future financial performance, business strategy, projected plans and objectives. These statements may be identified by the fact that they do not relate to historical or current facts and may use words such as “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “would,” “intends,” “projects,” “estimates,” “plans,” and similar words, expressions or phrases. Additionally, many of these risks and uncertainties are currently amplified by and will continue to be amplified by, or in the future may be amplified by, the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak, the continued restrictions that have been placed on travel in many countries as a result of the outbreak and the adverse impact on the global economy from the outbreak. These factors include, but are not limited to:
•the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting economic conditions, which had, and is expected to continue to have, a significant impact on our operations, including an unprecedented decline in demand, as well as its current, and uncertain future impact, including but not limited to, its effect on the ability or desire of people to travel due to travel restrictions, and other restrictions and orders, which is expected to continue to impact our results, operations, outlooks, plans, goals, growth, cash flows, liquidity, and stock price;
•the high level of competition in the mobility industry, including from new companies or technology, and the impact such competition may have on pricing and rental volume;
•a change in our fleet costs, including as a result of a change in the cost of new vehicles, manufacturer recalls, disruption in the supply of new vehicles, and/or a change in the price at which we dispose of used vehicles either in the used vehicle market or under repurchase or guaranteed depreciation programs;
•our ability to realize our estimated cost savings on a timely basis, or at all, and the amount of cash expenditures made in connection with such cost saving efforts;
•the results of operations or financial condition of the manufacturers of our vehicles, which could impact their ability to perform their payment obligations under our agreements with them, including repurchase and/or guaranteed depreciation arrangements, and/or their willingness or ability to make vehicles available to us or the mobility industry as a whole on commercially reasonable terms or at all, particularly when COVID-19 related restrictions are lifted and travel demand increases;
•the significant decline in travel demand as a result of COVID-19, including the current and any future disruptions in airline passenger traffic;
•the absence of an improvement in, or further deterioration of, economic conditions, particularly during our peak season or in key market segments;
•an occurrence or threat of terrorism, the current and any future pandemic diseases, natural disasters, military conflict, civil unrest or political instability in the locations in which we operate;
•any substantial changes in the cost or supply of fuel, vehicle parts, energy, labor or other resources on which we depend to operate our business, including the current and any future impacts as a result of COVID-19;
•our ability to continue to successfully implement our business strategies, achieve and maintain cost savings and adapt our business to changes in mobility;
•political, economic or commercial instability in the countries in which we operate, and our ability to conform to multiple and conflicting laws or regulations in those countries;
•our dependence on third-party distribution channels, third-party suppliers of other services and co-marketing arrangements with third parties;
•our dependence on the performance and retention of our senior management and key employees;
•risks related to completed or future acquisitions or investments that we may pursue, including the incurrence of incremental indebtedness to help fund such transactions and our ability to promptly and effectively integrate any acquired businesses or capitalize on joint ventures, partnerships and other investments;
•our ability to utilize derivative instruments, and the impact of derivative instruments we utilize, which can be affected by fluctuations in interest rates, gasoline prices and exchange rates, changes in government regulations and other factors;
•our exposure to uninsured or unpaid claims in excess of historical levels and our ability to obtain insurance at desired levels and the cost of that insurance;
•risks associated with litigation, governmental or regulatory inquiries, or any failure or inability to comply with laws, regulations or contractual obligations or any changes in laws, regulations or contractual obligations, including with respect to personally identifiable information and consumer privacy, labor and employment, and tax;
•risks related to protecting the integrity of, and preventing unauthorized access to, our information technology systems or those of our third-party vendors, and protecting the confidential information of our employees and customers against security breaches, including physical or cybersecurity breaches, attacks, or other disruptions, and compliance with privacy and data protection regulation;
•any impact on us from the actions of our licensees, dealers, third-party vendors and independent operators and independent contractors and/or disputes that may arise out of our agreements with such parties;
•any major disruptions in our communication networks or information systems;
•risks related to tax obligations and the effect of future changes in tax laws and accounting standards;
•risks related to our indebtedness, including our substantial outstanding debt obligations, potential interest rate increases, recent and potential further downgrades by rating agencies and our ability to incur substantially more debt;
•our ability to obtain financing for our global operations, including the funding of our vehicle fleet through the issuance of asset-backed securities and use of the global lending markets;
•our ability to meet the financial and other covenants contained in the agreements governing our indebtedness, or to obtain a waiver or amendment of such covenants should we be unable to meet such covenants;
•our ability to accurately estimate our future results;
•failure to achieve our business plans, a further deterioration of the general economic conditions of the countries in which we operate, or significant changes in the assumptions and estimates that are used in our impairment testing for goodwill and intangible assets, which could result in a significant impairment of our goodwill; and
•other business, economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory, political or technological factors affecting our operations, pricing or services.
We operate in a continuously changing business environment and new risk factors emerge from time to time. New risk factors, factors beyond our control, or changes in the impact of identified risk factors may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in any forward-looking statements. Accordingly, forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as a prediction of actual results. Moreover, we do not assume responsibility for the
accuracy and completeness of those statements. Other factors and assumptions not identified above, including those discussed in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” set forth in Item 7, in “Risk Factors” set forth in Item 1A and in other portions of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, may contain forward-looking statements and involve uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in such statements.
Although we believe that our assumptions are reasonable, any or all of our forward-looking statements may prove to be inaccurate and we can make no guarantees about our future performance. Should unknown risks or uncertainties materialize or underlying assumptions prove inaccurate, actual results could differ materially from past results and/or those anticipated, estimated or projected. We undertake no obligation to release any revisions to any forward-looking statements, to report events or to report the occurrence of unanticipated events. For any forward-looking statements contained in any document, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Except as expressly indicated or unless the context otherwise requires, the “Company,” “Avis Budget,” “we,” “our” or “us” means Avis Budget Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. “Avis,” “Budget,” “Budget Truck,” “Zipcar,” “Payless,” “Apex,” “Maggiore,” “Morini Rent,” “Turiscar,” “FranceCars” and “ACL Hire” refer to our Avis Rent A Car System, LLC, Budget Rent A Car System, Inc., Budget Truck Rental, LLC, Zipcar, Inc., Payless Car Rental, Inc., Apex Car Rentals, Maggiore Rent S.p.A., Morini S.p.A., Turiscar Group, AAA France Cars SAS and ACL Hire Ltd. operations, respectively, and, unless the context otherwise requires, do not include the operations of our licensees, as further discussed below.
We are a leading global provider of mobility solutions through our three most recognized brands, Avis, Budget and Zipcar, together with several other brands, well recognized in their respective markets. Our brands offer a range of options, from car and truck rental to car sharing. We and our licensees operate our brands in approximately 180 countries throughout the world. We generally maintain a leading share of airport car rental revenues in North America, Europe and Australasia, and we operate a leading car sharing network, as well as one of the leading commercial truck rental businesses in the United States. Our brands and mobility solutions have an extended global reach with more than 10,600 rental locations throughout the world, including approximately 4,100 locations operated by our licensees. We believe that Avis, Budget and Zipcar enjoy complementary demand patterns with mid-week commercial demand balanced by weekend leisure demand.
Positive momentum from fourth quarter 2019 continued into January and February 2020; however, travel restrictions broadly implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 negatively affected reservations and revenue throughout the remainder of 2020. By reducing fleet, matching staffing levels to demand and reducing operational costs, and pausing capital spending, among other actions, we proactively managed declining reservations and revenue. As a result, for 2020, our global rental fleet, on average, totaled approximately 533,000 vehicles, 19% lower compared to 2019 and we completed approximately 22 million vehicle rental transactions worldwide, 47% lower compared to 2019. Our revenue was approximately $5.4 billion, 41% lower compared to 2019. We experienced longer lengths of rental compared to 2019, driven by an increase in monthly and leisure vehicle rentals. Revenue generated from on-airport locations was approximately 50%, a 14% reduction compared to 2019.
We categorize our operations into two reportable business segments:
•Americas, which provides and licenses the Company’s brands to third parties for vehicle rentals and ancillary products and services in North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean, and operates the Company’s car sharing business in certain of these markets; and
•International, which provides and licenses the Company’s brands to third parties for vehicle rentals and ancillary products and services in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australasia, and operates the Company’s car sharing business in certain of these markets.
Additional discussion of our reportable segments is included in the Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and in Note 20 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We began 2020 with a focus on driving sustainable and profitable growth by leveraging differentiated brands and products, delivering margins from our established businesses, and positioning our company as a global leader in the mobility sector. As we saw significant impacts on travel demand and the global economy from COVID-19, we proactively managed our business with cost removal and mitigation actions described above. At the same time, we prioritized health and safety, and launched a coalition designed to enhance the cleanliness and disinfection of
our rental facilities and vehicles. We also increased the availability of our app-based Mobile Select product and facilities with automated exit gates to provide our customers with contactless, self-service rental transactions.
For 2021, as travel demand starts to normalize and the global economy emerges from COVID-19, we expect our strategy to continue to focus on cost discipline, revenue growth and reinvestment aimed at allowing the Company to increase profitability.
Through cost discipline, we aim to improve our Adjusted EBITDA margin by focusing on fixed and variable cost controls as well as vehicle costs. We believe we can increase our profitability by keeping fixed expenses to unavoidable or fundamentally necessary items and optimizing variable expense in controllable areas with clear metrics and visibility, permitting us to exit the COVID-19 crisis as a stronger, more adaptive company.
We seek to increase revenue through the delivery of a differentiated customer experience through technology and service. We expect to continue to enhance the customer experience we offer, including through an increase in the locations that offer our Mobile Select product, which provides a differentiated customer choice model, our Avis mobile application, recognized as one of the best mobile travel rental car applications, connected cars, and continued improvement in customer service. We also intend to drive revenue through continued enhancement of our operations in the off-airport, ride hail, package delivery and partnerships channels.
We also intend to reinvest in our business, including in our systems and platforms, and potential new business models, including expanding our risk vehicle dispositions through our direct-to-consumer sales channels, which include online sales channels and strategically positioned Avis vehicle retail car sale lots, and in the evolving mobility sector based on our leading brands, global operations and our fleet management capabilities. We continue to believe that our company is well-positioned as a leader in the evolving mobility sector.
|OUR BRANDS AND OPERATIONS|
Our Avis, Budget and Zipcar brands are three of the most recognized brands in our industry. We believe that each of our brands are positioned to be embraced by different target customers, and we see benefits and savings from our brands sharing some of the same maintenance facilities, fleet management systems, technology and administrative infrastructure. In addition, we are able to recognize benefits and savings by combining our car rental and car sharing maintenance activities and fleets at times to increase our fleet utilization efficiency and to meet demand peaks. These benefits have historically been further enhanced by complementary demand patterns balancing our business customers’ utilization during weekdays and our leisure and urban customers’ utilization on evenings and weekends. We also operate the Payless and Apex brands, which operate in the value segment of the car rental industry, augmenting our Avis, Budget and Zipcar brands. In addition, our Maggiore and Morini Rent brands in Italy, FranceCars brand in France and Turiscar brand in Portugal further extend the range of vehicle use occasions we are able to serve.
The following graphs present the approximate composition of our revenues in 2020.
* Includes Budget Truck.
** Includes Zipcar and other operating brands.
*** Includes Budget Truck and Zipcar.
COVID-19 impacts have changed the composition of our revenues by market compared to prior year. In 2019, the mix for revenues by market was 64% airport and 36% off-airport.
The Avis brand provides high-quality vehicle rental and other mobility solutions at price points generally above non-branded and value-branded vehicle rental companies and serves the premium commercial and leisure segments of the travel industry. We operate or license Avis vehicle rental locations at virtually all of the largest commercial airports and cities in the world.
The table below presents the approximate number of Avis locations as of December 31, 2020.
|Company-operated locations||1,700 ||1,200 ||2,900 |
|Licensee locations||600 ||1,800 ||2,400 |
|Total Avis Locations||2,300 ||3,000 ||5,300 |
* Certain locations support multiple brands.
In 2020, our Company-operated Avis locations generated total revenues of approximately $3.0 billion, of which approximately $1.4 billion was derived from commercial customers and approximately $1.6 billion was derived from customers renting at airports. The following graphs present the approximate composition of our Avis revenues in 2020.
We also license the Avis brand to independent commercial owners who operate approximately half of our locations worldwide and generally pay royalty fees to us based on a percentage of applicable revenues. In 2020, these royalty fees totaled approximately 1% of our Avis revenues.
We offer Avis customers a variety of premium services, including:
•the Avis mobile application, which allows customers a unique and innovative way to control many elements of their rental experience via their mobile devices without the need to visit the rental counter. The Avis mobile application also allows customers to track Avis shuttle buses to rental locations, find their vehicle, and locate nearby gas stations and parking facilities;
•Avis Preferred, a frequent renter rewards program that offers counter-bypass at major airport locations and reward points for every dollar spent on vehicle rentals and related products. Avis Mobile Select, the newest feature on the Avis mobile application, allows Avis Preferred customers to select their specific car via their mobile device upon arrival, proceed directly to the vehicle, and utilize a unique code to exit via our automated Express Exit for a completely contactless rental experience;
•the Avis Select Series, a selection of luxury vehicles including Mercedes, Jaguars, Corvettes, and others;
•invited or earned customer status levels allowing for upgrades and counter bypass;
•availability of premium, sport and performance vehicles as well as eco-friendly vehicles, including gasoline/electric hybrids;
•access to portable navigation units, tablets and satellite radio service;
•Avis rental services such as roadside assistance, fuel service options, e-receipts, electronic toll collection services that allow customers to pay highway tolls without waiting in toll booth lines, and amenities such as Avis Access, a full range of special products and services for drivers and passengers with disabilities;
•Curbside Delivery, a service that provides customers at select airport locations in the United States with the added convenience of being dropped off at the airport terminal in the same car that they rented; and
•for our corporate customers, Avis Budget Group Business Intelligence, a proprietary customer reporting solution that provides a centralized reporting tool and customer reporting portal for all corporate clients around the globe, enabling them to easily view and analyze their rental activity, permitting them to better manage their travel budgets and monitor employee compliance with applicable travel policies.
The Budget brand is a leading supplier of vehicle rental and other mobility solutions focused primarily on more value-conscious customers. We operate or license Budget car rental locations at most of the largest airports and cities in the world.
The table below presents the approximate number of Budget locations as of December 31, 2020.
|Company-operated locations||1,350 ||900 ||2,250 |
|Licensee locations||500 ||1,050 ||1,550 |
|Total Budget Locations||1,850 ||1,950 ||3,800 |
* Certain locations support multiple brands.
We also license the Budget brand to independent commercial owners who operate approximately half of our locations worldwide and generally pay royalty fees to us based on a percentage of applicable revenues. In 2020, these royalty fees totaled approximately 1% of our Budget revenues.
Budget offers its customers several products and services similar to Avis, such as refueling options, roadside assistance, electronic toll collection, curbside delivery and other supplemental rental products, emailed receipts and special rental rates for frequent renters. In addition, Budget’s mobile application allows customers to reserve, modify and cancel reservations on their mobile device, and its Fastbreak service expedites rental service for frequent travelers.
Our Budget Truck rental business is one of the largest local and one-way truck and cargo van rental businesses in the United States. As of December 31, 2020, our Budget Truck fleet is comprised of approximately 20,000 vehicles that are rented through a network of approximately 515 dealer-operated and 410 Company-operated locations throughout the continental United States. These dealers are independently-owned businesses that generally operate other retail service businesses. In addition to their principal businesses, the dealers rent our light- and medium-duty trucks and commercial cargo vans to customers and are responsible for collecting payments on our behalf. The dealers receive a commission on all truck, van and ancillary equipment rentals. The Budget Truck rental business serves both the light commercial and consumer sectors. The light commercial sector consists of a wide range of businesses that rent light- to medium-duty trucks, which we define as trucks having a
gross vehicle weight of less than 26,000 pounds, for a variety of commercial applications. The consumer sector consists primarily of individuals who rent trucks to move household goods on either a one-way or local basis.
In 2020, our Company-operated Budget vehicle rental operations generated total revenues of approximately $1.9 billion, of which approximately $1.4 billion was derived from leisure customers and $0.9 billion was derived from customers renting at airports. The following graphs present the approximate composition of our Budget revenues in 2020.
Zipcar is a leading car sharing network, driven by a mission to enable simple and responsible urban living. With its wide variety of self-service vehicles available by the hour or day, Zipcar offers comprehensive, convenient and flexible car sharing options in urban areas and college campuses in hundreds of cities and towns. Zipcar provides its members on-demand, self-service vehicles in reserved parking spaces located in neighborhoods, business districts, office complexes and college campuses, as an alternative to car ownership. Members can reserve vehicles online, on a mobile device or over the phone, by the minute, hour or by the day, at rates that include gasoline, secondary insurance and other costs associated with vehicle ownership. We continue to offer our Zipcar Flex product in London providing for one-way rentals, including to and from Heathrow airport, which can be parked in public on-street spots in designated areas of the city.
Our other brands include the following:
•Payless, a leading rental car supplier serving the deep-value segment of the industry, which we license or operate in approximately 240 locations worldwide, including more than 150 locations operated by licensees and approximately 90 Company-operated locations.
◦Company-operated Payless locations are primarily located in North America, the majority of which are at or near major airports. Payless’ rental fees are often lower than those of larger, more established vehicle rental brands.
◦The Payless business model allows the Company to extend the life-cycle of a portion of our rental fleet, as we “cascade” certain vehicles that exceed certain Avis and Budget age or mileage thresholds to be used by Payless.
•Apex, which operates in approximately 30 rental locations at, or near, major airports and in several metropolitan cities in New Zealand and Australia.
◦Apex generates reservations through proprietary websites as well as a contact center and online travel agencies and has typically had a greater-than-average length of rental.
•Maggiore, a leading vehicle rental brand in Italy, where we operate or license in approximately 150 rental locations throughout the country.
◦Maggiore has a strong local reputation and benefits from a strong presence at airport, off-airport and railway locations and from the integration of our existing operations and rental fleet management expertise.
•Morini Rent, a leading vehicle rental brand in Italy, which offers rental of cars, vans and refrigerated vehicles and which we operate or license in approximately 50 rental locations throughout the country.
•FranceCars, which operates one of the largest light commercial vehicle rental fleets in France in approximately 85 rental locations and leverages our existing operational processes and local customer base.
•Turiscar, a leading vehicle rental brand in Portugal, which operates primarily in the corporate market, including light commercial vehicles, at more than 25 rental locations throughout the country.
•ACL Hire, a provider of quality vehicle rental and maintenance services in the UK, with a strong focus on light commercial vehicles.
RESERVATIONS, MARKETING AND SALES
Our customers can make vehicle rental reservations through our brand-specific websites and toll-free reservation centers, by calling a specific location directly, through our brand-specific mobile applications, online travel agencies, travel agents or through selected partners, including many major airlines, associations and retailers. Travel agents can access our reservation systems through all major global distribution systems, which provide information with respect to rental locations, vehicle availability and applicable rate structures.
Our Zipcar members may reserve cars by the minute, hour or by the day through Zipcar’s reservation system, which is accessible through the Zipcar website, through the Zipcar application on their smartphone or by phone. We also use two-way SMS texting, enabling us to proactively reach out to members during their reservation via their mobile device to manage their reservation, including reservation extension.
Marketing and Sales
We support our brands through a range of marketing channels and campaigns, including traditional media, such as television and print advertising, as well as Internet and email marketing, social media and mobile device applications. We market through sponsorships of major sports entities such as the PGA Tour, Pebble Beach, the New York Yankees, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and AC Milan FC. We also market through sponsorships of charitable organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We utilize a customer relationship management system that enables us to deliver more targeted and relevant offers to customers across online and offline channels and allows our customers to benefit through better and more relevant marketing, improved service delivery and loyalty programs that reward frequent renters with free rental days and car class upgrades.
We maintain strong links to the travel industry including marketing alliances with numerous marketing partners, such as American Airlines, and major hotel companies.
In addition, we have developed relationships that provide brand exposure and access to new customers, including deals to provide vehicles to ride-hail drivers in cities across North America.
Approximately 50% of vehicle rental transactions in 2020 from our Company-operated Avis locations were generated by travelers who rented from Avis under contracts between Avis and their employers or through membership in an organization with which Avis has a contractual affiliation (such as AARP and Costco Wholesale). This percentage is lower compared to the 2019 percentage of 60% as a result of impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, which among other things, drove a decrease in commercial travel. The Company offers Business Intelligence, an online portal complete with rental summary dashboards, visualizations and detailed reports that provides our corporate customers with insight into their program’s performance, giving them direct access to more data in a customer-facing portal offering useful data insights, including options to customize and schedule reports. Avis also maintains marketing relationships with other organizations such as American Express, MasterCard International and others, through which we are able to provide their customers with incentives to rent from Avis. Generally, Avis licensees also have the option to participate in these affiliations.
Additionally, we offer “Unlimited Rewards®,” an award-winning loyalty incentive program for travel agents, and Avis and Budget programs for small businesses that offer discounted rates, central billing options and rental credits to members. Budget has contractual arrangements with American Express, MasterCard International and other organizations, which offer members incentives to rent from Budget.
Our Zipcar brand utilizes a diverse set of marketing and sales strategies to acquire and engage members, including digital marketing, email and in-app messaging, and social media engagement. Zipcar maintains close relationships with universities that provide access to campuses and various marketing channels to attract students, who upon graduation may continue their relationship with us. Through our Zipcar for Business program, we also offer direct-bill accounts and employee benefit programs to companies, federal agencies and local governments that support the use of Zipcars.
We have licensees in approximately 175 countries throughout the world. Royalty fee revenues derived from our vehicle rental licensees in 2020 totaled $78 million, with approximately $57 million in our International segment and $21 million in our Americas segment. Licensed locations are independently operated by our licensees and range from large operations at major airport locations and territories encompassing entire countries to relatively small operations in suburban or rural locations. Our licensees generally maintain separate independently owned and operated fleets. Royalties generated from licensing provide us with a source of high-margin revenue because there are relatively limited additional costs associated with fees paid by licensees to us. In some geographies we facilitate one-way vehicle rentals between Company-operated and licensed locations, which enables us to offer an integrated network of locations to our customers.
We generally enjoy good relationships with our licensees and meet regularly with them at regional, national and international meetings. Our relationships with our licensees are governed by license agreements that grant the licensee the right to operate independently operated vehicle rental businesses in certain territories. Our license agreements generally provide our licensees with the exclusive right to operate under one or more of our brands in their assigned territory. These agreements impose obligations on the licensee regarding its operations, and most agreements restrict the licensee’s ability to sell, transfer or assign its rights granted under the license agreement or to change the control of its ownership without our consent.
The terms of our license agreements, including duration, royalty fees and termination provisions, vary based upon brand, territory, and original signing date. Royalty fees are generally structured to be a percentage of the licensee’s gross rental income. We maintain the right to monitor the operations of licensees and, when applicable, can declare a licensee to be in default under its license agreement. We perform audits as part of our program to assure licensee compliance with brand quality standards and contract provisions. Generally, we can terminate license agreements for certain defaults, including failure to pay royalties or to adhere to our operational standards. Upon termination of a license agreement, the licensee is prohibited from using our brand names and related marks in any business. In the United States, these license relationships constitute “franchises” under most federal and state laws regulating the offer and sale of franchises and the relationship of the parties to a franchise agreement.
We continue to optimize the Avis and Budget brands by issuing new license agreements and periodically acquiring licensees to grow our revenues and expand our global presence. Discussion of our recent acquisitions is included in Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
In addition to revenues derived from time and mileage fees from our vehicle rentals and licensee royalties, we generate revenues from our customers through the sale and/or rental of optional ancillary products and services. We offer products to customers that will enhance their rental experience, including:
•collision and loss damage waivers, under which we agree to relieve a customer from financial responsibility arising from vehicle damage incurred during the rental;
•additional/supplemental liability insurance or personal accident/effects insurance products which provide customers with additional protections for personal or third-party losses incurred;
•products for driving convenience such as fuel service options, roadside assistance services, electronic toll collection services, curbside delivery, tablet rentals, access to satellite radio, portable navigation units and child safety seat rentals; and
•products that supplement truck rental including automobile towing equipment and other moving accessories such as hand trucks, furniture pads and moving supplies.
We offer customized bundling of certain of these ancillary products and services, allowing our customers to benefit from discounted pricing and providing customers the flexibility to add multiple products or services that suit their needs.
We also receive payment from our customers for certain operating expenses that we incur, including vehicle licensing fees, as well as airport concession fees that we pay in exchange for the right to operate at airports and other locations. In addition, we collect membership fees in connection with our car sharing business.
We offer a wide variety of vehicles in our rental fleet, including luxury cars, specialty-use vehicles and light commercial vehicles. Our fleet consists primarily of vehicles from the current and immediately preceding model year. We maintain a single fleet of vehicles for Avis and Budget in countries where we operate both brands. The substantial majority of Zipcar’s fleet is dedicated to use by Zipcar.
We maintain a diverse rental fleet, in which no vehicle manufacturer represented more than 13% of our 2020 fleet purchases, and we regularly adjust our fleet levels to be consistent with demand. We participate in a variety of vehicle purchase programs with major vehicle manufacturers. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we reduced our fleet purchases by 56% compared to 2019 as we sought to proactively manage our fleet size. The following presents the approximate percentage of fleet purchases by manufacturer in 2020.
* Includes all manufacturers for which fleet purchases were less than 5%.
Fleet costs represented approximately 22% of our aggregate expenses in 2020. Fleet costs can vary from year to year based on the prices at which we are able to purchase and dispose of rental vehicles, the mix of risk and program vehicles, holding periods, and overall fleet mix.
In 2020, approximately 24% of our average rental fleet was comprised of the following:
•vehicles subject to agreements requiring automobile manufacturers to repurchase vehicles at a specified price during a specified time period or guarantee our rate of depreciation on the vehicles during a specified period of time; or
•vehicles subject to operating leases, which are subject to a fixed lease period and interest rate.
We refer to vehicles subject to these agreements as “program” vehicles and vehicles not subject to these agreements as “risk” vehicles because we retain the risk associated with such vehicles’ residual values at the time of their disposition. The following graphs present the approximate percentage of program vehicles in both our average rental fleet and purchases within each of our reporting segments in the last three years.
Our agreements with automobile manufacturers typically require that we pay more for program vehicles and maintain them in our fleet for a minimum number of months and impose certain return conditions, including vehicle condition and mileage requirements. When we return program vehicles to the manufacturer, we receive the price guaranteed at the time of purchase and are therefore protected from fluctuations in the prices of previously-owned vehicles in the wholesale market. In 2020, approximately 38% of the vehicles we disposed of were sold pursuant to repurchase or guaranteed depreciation programs. The future percentages of program and risk vehicles in our fleet will depend on several factors, including our expectations for future used vehicle prices, our seasonal needs and the availability and attractiveness of manufacturers’ repurchase and guaranteed depreciation programs.
We dispose of our risk vehicles largely through resale and alternative disposition channels, including direct-to-consumer, online auctions, and direct-to-dealer sales, as well as through more traditional automobile auctions. Alternative disposition channels provide the opportunity to increase vehicle sales prices and reduce relevant fleet costs compared to selling vehicles at auctions. We have continued to expand the scope of our direct-to-consumer vehicle sales program, growing sales of our risk vehicles directly to consumers through our Ultimate Test Drive (UTD) online program and our approximately 15 physical retail locations. Both our UTD program and retail locations offer customers the ability to purchase well-maintained, late-model rental vehicles from our fleet. We dispose of our program vehicles in accordance with repurchase or guaranteed depreciation programs with major vehicle manufacturers.
In 2020, our average quarterly vehicle rental fleet size ranged from a low of approximately 440,000 vehicles in fourth quarter to a high of approximately 610,000 vehicles in first quarter. Average fleet utilization for 2020, which is based on the number of rental days (or portion thereof) that vehicles are rented compared to the total amount of time that vehicles are available for rent, ranged from approximately 35% in second quarter to approximately 62% in first and fourth quarters. Our average car rental fleet size and utilization are typically highest during the third quarter of each year. Our calculation of utilization may not be comparable to other companies’ calculation of similarly titled metrics.
We place a strong emphasis on the quality of our vehicle maintenance for customer safety and customer satisfaction reasons, and because quick and proper repairs are critical to fleet utilization. To accomplish this task, we developed specialized training programs for our technicians. Our Supply Chain Department prepares technical service bulletins that can be retrieved electronically at our repair locations. In addition, we have implemented policies and procedures to promptly address manufacturer recalls as part of our ongoing maintenance and repair efforts.
Our commitment to delivering a consistently high level of customer service across all of our brands is a critical element of our success and business strategy. Our Customer Led, Service Driven™ program focuses on continually improving the overall customer experience based on our research of customer service practices, improved customer insights, executing our customer relationship management strategy, delivering customer-centric employee training and leverage our mobile applications technology and the enriched experience it provides our customers. In addition, our social media platform allows us to engage with our customers in their preferred channel, which enables us to meet the needs of our customers while promoting our brands to gain more market share and drive customer loyalty.
The employees at our Company-operated locations are trained and empowered to resolve most customer issues at the location level. We also continuously track customer-satisfaction levels by sending location-specific surveys to recent customers and utilize detailed reports and tracking to assess and identify ways that we can improve our customer service delivery and the overall customer experience. Our location-specific surveys ask customers to evaluate their overall satisfaction with their rental experience and the likelihood that they will recommend our brands, as well as key elements of the rental experience. Results are analyzed in aggregate and by location to help further enhance our service levels to our customers.
During 2020, in response to COVID-19, we launched the “Avis Safety Pledge” and “Budget Worry-Free Promise,” designed to keep our customers and employees safe through a partnership with RB, the maker of Lysol, to enhance the cleanliness and disinfection of our rental facilities and vehicles. RB is also part of a coalition we formed with Hip Hop Public Health, a national nonprofit organization that creates engaging content to drive behavioral change and supplements our employee training for consistent, responsible habits and to optimize the effectiveness of our cleaning protocols. Our facilities are also utilizing plexiglass shields along with signage and floor markings to encourage safety habits and social distancing, and we have provided our staff with masks, hand sanitizer and gloves and we make this protective equipment available to our customers.
We also offer rental options that provide greater control, self-service and contactless capabilities. While our mobile applications provide a fast customer experience, a company representative is available to meet customers’ needs. Our survey platform includes specific questions to learn more about individual preferences and find innovative ways to better serve and anticipate our customers’ needs.
AIRPORT CONCESSION AGREEMENTS
We generally operate our vehicle rental and car sharing services at airports under concession agreements with airport authorities, pursuant to which we typically make airport concession payments and/or lease payments. In general, concession fees for on-airport locations are based on a percentage of total commissionable revenues (as defined by each airport authority), often subject to minimum annual guaranteed amounts. Concessions are typically awarded by airport authorities every three to ten years based upon competitive bids. Our concession
agreements with the various airport authorities generally impose certain minimum operating requirements, provide for relocation in the event of future construction and provide for abatement of the minimum annual guarantee in the event of extended low passenger volume.
|OTHER BUSINESS CONSIDERATIONS |
Our operating results are subject to variability due to seasonality, macroeconomic conditions and other factors. Car rental volumes tend to be associated with the travel industry, particularly airline passenger volumes, or enplanements, which in turn tend to reflect general economic conditions. Our operations are also seasonal, with the third quarter of the year historically having been our strongest due to the increased level of leisure travel during the quarter. We have a partially variable cost structure and routinely adjust the size, and therefore the cost, of our rental fleet in response to fluctuations in demand.
The following chart presents our quarterly revenues for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The competitive environment for our industry is generally characterized by intense price and service competition among global, local and regional competitors. Competition in our vehicle rental operations is based primarily upon price, customer service quality, including usability of booking systems and ease of rental and return, vehicle availability, reliability, rental locations, product innovation and national or international distribution. In addition, competition is also influenced strongly by advertising, marketing, loyalty programs and brand reputation. We believe the prominence and service reputation of our brands, extensive worldwide ownership of mobility solutions and commitment to innovation provides us with a competitive advantage.
The use of technology has increased pricing transparency among vehicle rental companies and other mobility solutions providers enabling cost-conscious customers to more easily compare on the Internet and their mobile devices the rates available for the mobility solutions that fit their needs. This transparency has further increased the prevalence and intensity of price competition in the industry.
Our vehicle rental operations compete primarily with Enterprise Holdings, Inc., which operates the Enterprise, National and Alamo car rental brands; Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., which operates the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty brands; Europcar Mobility Group, which operates the Europcar, Goldcar, InterRent, Buchbinder and Ubeeqo brands; and Sixt AG. We also compete with smaller local and regional vehicle rental companies for vehicle rental market share, and with ride-hailing companies largely for short length trips in urban areas. Our Zipcar brand also competes with various local and regional mobility companies, including mobility services sponsored by several auto manufacturers, ride-hailing and car sharing companies and other technology players in the mobility industry. Our Budget Truck operations in the United States competes with several other local, regional and nationwide truck rental companies including U-Haul International, Inc., Penske Truck Leasing Corporation, Ryder Systems, Inc. and Enterprise.
INSURANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT
Our vehicle rental and corporate operations expose us to various types of claims for bodily injury, death and property damage related to the use of our vehicles and/or properties, as well as general employment-related matters stemming from our operations. In addition, we currently purchase insurance coverage to limit our exposure to legal fees and expenses resulting from cybersecurity breaches. We generally retain economic exposure for liability to third parties arising from vehicle rental and car sharing services in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in accordance with the minimum financial responsibility requirements (“MFRs”) and primacy of coverage laws of the relevant jurisdiction. In certain cases, we assume liability above applicable MFRs, up to $1 million per occurrence, other than in cases involving a negligent act on the part of the Company, for which we purchase insurance coverage for exposures beyond retained amounts from a combination of unaffiliated excess insurers.
In Europe, we insure the risk of liability to third parties arising from vehicle rental and car sharing services in accordance with local regulatory requirements primarily through insurance policies provided by unaffiliated insurers. We retain a portion of the insured risk of liability through local deductibles, and by reinsuring certain risks through our captive insurance subsidiary AEGIS Motor Insurance Limited. In Australasia, motor vehicle bodily injury insurance coverage is compulsory and provided upon vehicle registration. In addition, we provide our customers with third-party property damage insurance through an unaffiliated third-party insurer. We retain a share of property damage risk through AEGIS Motor Insurance Limited. AEGIS Motor Insurance Limited reinsures certain risks through an unaffiliated company, which limits its liabilities. We insure the risk of liability to third parties in Argentina through unaffiliated insurers.
We offer our U.S. customers a range of optional insurance products and coverages such as supplemental liability insurance, personal accident insurance, personal effects protection, emergency sickness protection, automobile towing protection and cargo insurance, which create additional risk exposure for us. When a customer elects to purchase supplemental liability insurance or other optional insurance related products, we typically retain economic exposure to loss, since the insurance is provided by an unaffiliated insurer that is reinsuring its exposure through our captive insurance subsidiary, Constellation Reinsurance Co., Ltd. Additional personal accident insurance offered to our customers in Europe and Australasia is provided by a third-party insurer, and primarily reinsured by our Avis Budget Europe International Reinsurance Limited subsidiary. We also maintain excess insurance coverage through unaffiliated carriers to help mitigate our potential exposure to large liability losses. We otherwise bear these and other risks, except to the extent that the risks are transferred through insurance or contractual arrangements.
OUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
We rely primarily on a combination of trademark, trade secret and copyright laws, as well as contractual provisions with employees and third parties, to establish and protect our intellectual property rights. The service marks “Avis,” “Budget” and “Zipcar” and related marks or designs incorporating such terms and related logos and marks such as “We Try Harder,” “We Know The Road” and “Own The Trip, Not The Car” are material to our vehicle rental and car sharing businesses. Our subsidiaries and licensees actively use these marks. All of the material marks used by Avis, Budget and Zipcar are registered (or have applications pending for registration) with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as well as in foreign jurisdictions. Our subsidiaries own the marks and other intellectual property, including the Wizard system, used in our business. We also own trademarks and logos related to the “Apex Car Rentals” brand in Australia and New Zealand, the “Payless Car Rental” brand in the United States and several other countries, the “Maggiore” and “Morini Rent” brands in Italy, the “FranceCars” brand in France and the “Turiscar” brand in Portugal. Our subsidiaries have also filed patent applications pertaining to fleet and connected car technology in the U.S. and other countries.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
At Avis Budget Group, we take our responsibilities as a corporate citizen seriously. We are aware of how our actions can benefit the community and are sensitive to the needs of the environment, our customers and our employees.
Our practices in corporate social responsibility focus on our people, our communities, and our planet. We are committed to the highest standards of ethics, integrity and compliance in all respects of our business.
Our People: We believe that our success has its foundation in how we treat our employees. In concert with our core values, we seek to foster an environment where communication among our employees is open, honest, and respectful; performance is recognized; growth is encouraged; and accomplishments - individual and collective - are celebrated. We also seek to support the well-being and development of the people we employ and the communities in which they work.
Our Communities: We help and encourage our employees to connect to the communities in which they reside. Through our “Inspire the World” program we challenge our employees to dedicate an hour of their time to a local cause close to their hearts. As well as empowering our employees to volunteer in their local communities, we are committed to helping a variety of causes and charities that support people in crisis situations and who live with life-threatening illnesses. Those we support were chosen because our employees told us that charities that support women and children are the most important to them.
•Being Prepared When Disaster Strikes: Over the past seventy years, we have developed strong competencies in responding to business disruptions. Whether the disruption is man-made, an extreme weather event or a global health crisis, our business continuity programs are central to how we respond in times of crisis. Our program’s focus is on preparing and protecting our people, property and infrastructure. We utilize an “all hands on deck” approach within our incident management and command structure to ensure that we respond as rapidly and effectively as possible. We have also developed longstanding partnerships with leading national disaster response agencies, which strengthen our ability to provide support to affected customers, employees and communities.
The Environment: As a responsible corporate citizen, we are committed to monitoring, measuring and managing our environmental impact, and working to reduce it where practicable on an ongoing basis. This enables us to meet customer expectations while building a resilient business for generations to come. The following illustrates these commitments:
•Environmental Footprint: Through our continuous improvement approach, we work proactively to address the environmental challenges that impact our business. Guided by our Environmental Policy, we focus on the environmental issues most important to us and our stakeholders.
•Sustainable Operations: We are driving the efficiencies needed to reduce our environmental impact and enhance the sustainability of our operations. These are mainly driven by improvements on vehicle preventive maintenance, the incorporation of green building practices and by complying with all environmental regulations.
•Carbon Offset Program: We are committed to helping educate both consumers and travel professionals on their environmental impact from rental car use and on how that can be reduced. We also work closely with our corporate customers to help them achieve their environmental impact reduction targets through our carbon offset program.
•Sustainable Fleet: We have been actively anticipating and driving changes in mobility. Connected and autonomous vehicles are likely to become a common feature worldwide, along with an increase use of electric and shared vehicles, which is why we’re building on our core experience, data intelligence and technology to develop entirely new lines of business and extend our offering and capabilities for our customers, businesses and cities. Our efforts include:
◦Car Sharing: Our Zipcar car sharing technology was designed and specifically built for our car sharing business and has been continually refined and upgraded. With more than one million members worldwide, Zipcar is taking thousands of vehicles off the road and reducing congestion. In addition, car sharing members report notable reductions in their own driving behavior after joining.
◦Connected Vehicles: Connected vehicles support our ability to reduce emissions through a steadfast focus on fleet maintenance and optimization.
◦Fleet Efficiency: We offer our customers the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of vehicles, including hybrids, electric or fuel efficient vehicles at almost all of our locations. Our fleet consists primarily of vehicles from the current and immediately preceding model year - this ensures the highest possible standards of air emissions control. Our hybrid fleet is one of the largest in our industry with approximately 21,000 hybrid vehicles globally.
Our most recent Corporate Social Responsibility Report (“CSR”) is available on the Company’s website. The information contained on the Company’s website is not included in, or incorporated by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
OUR HUMAN CAPITAL RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT
Our human capital objectives include identifying, recruiting, retaining, incentivizing and integrating our existing and future or prospective employees. Our compensation program is designed to attract, retain and motivate highly qualified employees and executives.
As of December 31, 2020, we employed approximately 20,000 people worldwide, of whom approximately 5,000 were employed on a part-time basis. Of our approximately 20,000 employees, approximately 8,300 were employed in our International segment. In our Americas segment, the majority of our employees are at-will employees and, therefore, not subject to any type of employment contract or agreement. In our International segment, we enter into employment contracts and agreements in those countries in which such relationships are mandatory or customary. The provisions of these agreements correspond in each case with the required or customary terms in the subject jurisdiction. Many of our employees are covered by a variety of union contracts and governmental regulations affecting, among other things, compensation, job retention rights and pensions.
We strive to maintain satisfactory relationships with all of our employees, including the unions and work councils representing these employees. As of December 31, 2020, approximately 21% of our employees were covered by collective bargaining or similar agreements with various labor unions. We believe our employee relations are satisfactory. We have never experienced a large-scale work stoppage.
Supporting our employees with the right benefits is one of the most important things we do. We understand benefits are a key element to a total reward package, so ensuring we provide meaningful benefit programs and resources across the globe is an integral part of how we reward employees, including with respect to healthcare and retirement. As a global company, benefits will vary by country to reflect local practices and cultures, but our commitment to providing comprehensive and meaningful benefits and resources is consistent across the world. We continuously review and, when necessary, update our programs to ensure they remain flexible, competitive, and aligned to what is important for our employees and their families.
Global Gender Pay Equity
To ensure we are compensating both men and women employees fairly and equitably, we transitioned to a global Center of Excellence total rewards function five years ago with the aim to standardize and harmonize our rewards programs across all countries. As a result, we have established pay programs that provide for equal incentive pay opportunity for all employees in same or similar positions across the globe. Additionally, we utilize global guidelines and standards to inform compensation decisions for all new hires and promotions. To monitor our performance for our management employees, we evaluate base salary placement relative to our internal salary ranges for men and women. For our hourly field workforce (non-management employees), we maintain pay equity through our standardized compensation practices in which all employees begin at the same start rate, based on their location and position, and annual pay increases are applied consistently to all employees based on tenure.
Recruitment and Development
Our talent strategy is solidly rooted in attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. We run numerous recruitment programs that aim to give back to our local communities. Our Talent Acquisition teams have strong relationships
with organizations that help us reach a diverse pool of candidates including LGBTQ+ and those with physical or mental disabilities. We believe that our employees possess a wealth of knowledge that could and should be shared with others. We have a wealth of established learning and talent programs that we make available to our employees and in 2019 we launched a bespoke digital learning platform that has transformed the way we produce, manage and share learning resources.
Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
We embrace diversity and inclusion. We value each employee around the world, whose talent, skill and personality have helped establish us as a leading global mobility provider. We believe that embracing and promoting diversity is a critical component of our success and we have committed to creating a safe, supportive and inclusive environment. As an equal-opportunity employer, we are proud to provide an inclusive workplace that embraces and celebrates demographic, cultural and lifestyle differences. We strive to have a diverse and inclusive work environment where co-workers feel valued for their uniqueness, recognized for their diverse talents, and where they can bring their whole selves to work. We have created employee resource groups (“ERGs”), company-sponsored group comprised of employees from diverse backgrounds that advocate equality, opportunities for advancement, and facilitate discussion around best practices and resources to more targeted cultural and racial understanding and diversity. These ERGs provide a space where employees can foster connections and develop in a supportive environment. As of the end of 2020, we had three ERGs : Power of WOMEN; Power of Veterans; and Power of COLOR.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of our employees is our highest priority because our people are our most valuable asset. Consistent with our operating philosophy, we are committed to safety and our core belief is that health and safety is every employee’s responsibility, not only for our employees but for our customers, vendors, and all stakeholders. We currently collect incident rates to track safety performance for our United States operations, which represents our largest employee population. In addition to numerous proactive actions taken to ensure employee safety, our focus is also evident in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the launch of the Avis Safety Pledge and the Budget Worry-Free Promise to help provide a safe and convenient rental experience by enhancing our cleaning protocols. We contracted with a council of medical professionals to provide feedback and consultation on our safety protocols and practices. In addition, we partnered with an organization that creates innovative behavioral based training to ensure our staff is properly skilled and educated on safety related to the pandemic. In response to COVID-19, we have also added work-from-home flexibility for employees who can work remotely; implemented temperature screening of employees at the majority of our locations in the United States; established new physical distancing procedures; provided additional personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies; modified certain work spaces with plexiglass dividers; implemented protocols to address actual and suspected COVID-19 cases and potential exposure; and required masks to be worn in all locations where allowed by local law. We will continue to provide our staff with hand sanitizer, gloves and masks and conduct daily health self-assessments before shifts where we are permitted to do so. We will continue to offer an enhanced sick leave policy and offer employees COVID-19 testing free of charge.
We take a holistic approach to well- being. We understand that to deliver our best performance, our employees need to be healthy and happy in all areas of their lives. Our Live Well program focuses on helping our people achieve all aspects of well-being through habits and activities that promote physical, financial and emotional well-being.
We are subject to a wide variety of laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate, including those relating to, among others, consumer protection, insurance products and rates, franchising, customer privacy and data protection, securities and public disclosure, competition and antitrust, environmental matters, taxes, automobile-related liability, corruption and anti-bribery, labor and employment matters, health and safety, claims management, automotive retail sales, currency-exchange and other various banking and financial industry regulations, cost and fee recovery, the protection of our trademarks and other intellectual property, and local ownership or investment requirements. Additional information about the regulations that we are subject to can be found in Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Our principal executive office is located at 6 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, New Jersey 07054 (our telephone number is 973-496-4700). The Company files electronically with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) required reports on Form 8-K, Form 10-Q, Form 10-K and Form 11-K; proxy materials; registration statements and other forms or reports as required. Certain of the Company’s officers, directors and stockholders also file statements of beneficial ownership and of changes in beneficial ownership on Forms 3, 4 and 5 with the SEC. Such materials may be accessed electronically on the SEC’s Internet site (sec.gov). The Company maintains a website (avisbudgetgroup.com) and copies of our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, Section 16 reports, proxy materials and any amendments to these reports filed or furnished with the SEC are available free of charge in the Investor Relations section of our website, as soon as reasonably practicable after filing with the SEC. Copies of our board committee charters, Codes of Conduct and Ethics, Corporate Governance Guidelines and other corporate governance information are also available on our website. If the Company should decide to amend any of its board committee charters, Codes of Conduct and Ethics or other corporate governance documents, copies of such amendments will be made available to the public through the Company’s website. The information contained on the Company’s website is not included in, or incorporated by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The following is a discussion of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that we believe are material to our business and should be considered carefully in conjunction with all of the other information set forth in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Although the risks are organized by headings, and each risk is discussed separately, many are interrelated. In addition to the factors discussed elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the factors described in this item could, individually or in the aggregate, cause our actual results to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements. Should unknown risks or uncertainties materialize or underlying assumptions prove inaccurate, actual results could materially differ from past results and/or those anticipated, estimated or projected.
RISKS RELATED TO COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected our business and is expected to continue to materially affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and/or cash flows for an extended period. Governmental authorities have taken and continue to take measures to address the outbreak, including restrictions on travel and other orders, including partial shelter-in-place orders. The pandemic is a highly fluid and rapidly evolving situation and we cannot anticipate with any certainty the length, scope or severity of such restrictions in each of the jurisdictions that we operate.
The full impact that COVID-19 will have on our business cannot be predicted at this time due to numerous uncertainties, including the duration and severity of the outbreak, future mutations in the virus that causes COVID-19, increases or spikes in the number of cases, the availability of vaccines and effectiveness of actions taken to contain the disease, the length of time it takes for rental volume and pricing to return and normal economic and operating conditions to resume, and other factors. This impact could include, but is not limited to, those discussed below:
•Changes in our revenues and customer demand: Our revenues and profitability were materially impacted during 2020 compared to prior years, and we expect they will continue to be adversely affected. Although we believe that renting a vehicle will continue to be a safe, clean and attractive transport alternative, we cannot predict whether and when volumes will increase to historical levels. As we typically generate approximately 64% of our revenues from on-airport locations, our business is highly dependent on travel and both commercial demand and leisure demand. In addition, our truck rental business is affected by the housing, light commercial and consumer sectors, all of which have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we cannot predict the pace of recovery in those sectors.
•Our expenses: To date we have incurred, and expect to continue to incur, certain increased costs related to COVID-19, such as procurement of overflow parking for our idle vehicles and costs associated with sanitizing our vehicles and facilities. In April 2020, we experienced a fire at an overflow parking lot near Southwest Florida International Airport. As a result, we lost vehicles with an estimated carrying value of approximately $50 million. We could experience similar casualty losses in other overflow parking lots. In addition, the industry may become subject to enhanced health and hygiene requirements in attempts to address future outbreaks, which may increase our costs and take a significant amount of time to implement across our global operations. These additional costs may be required by regulators or expected by consumers even after the effects of COVID-19 subside. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we aimed to right-size our business for vehicle rental demand by reducing operating costs, in some cases by working with suppliers, landlords and other stakeholders. There can be no guarantee that our costs reduction efforts will be successful as the pandemic continues.
•Our workforce: The COVID-19 outbreak has caused us to reduce and furlough employees as we seek to keep our costs in line with demand. These actions could create risks, including but not limited to, our ability to manage the size of our workforce given uncertain future demand. Further, we may incur additional costs as a result of negotiations with labor unions that represent our employees or severance payments in the event our workforce is further reduced, and we could experience labor disputes or disruptions as we continue to implement our mitigation plans.
•Our relationship with, and the financial and operational capacities of, vehicle manufacturers and other suppliers: We have, and could face disruptions in the supply of vehicles from vehicle manufacturers or supply chain, whether due to outbreaks of COVID-19 at their manufacturing facilities, measures they take in response to COVID-19 or otherwise. We have faced, and may face additional, delays in receiving delivery of vehicles or other supplies that may make it difficult to meet consumer demand.
•The used car market: We depend on the used car market to sell vehicles and enable us to refresh our fleet. The used car market has faced and may again experience lower demand due to shutdowns of sales channels, other restrictions and the slowdown in overall global economic activity due to COVID-19, unemployment rates, depressed consumer demand and related factors.
•Our indebtedness and the adequacy of our cash flow and earnings and other conditions may affect our liquidity: We have taken a number of actions as a result of COVID-19 that have increased our long-term debt. As we manage through the effects of the pandemic, our level of indebtedness may further increase. In addition, we obtained covenant relief under the credit agreement governing our senior credit facilities through June 30, 2021. A default under our senior credit facilities would enable our lenders to terminate their commitments thereunder and could trigger a cross-default, acceleration or other consequences under our other indebtedness or financial instruments. There is no guarantee that debt financings will be available in the future to fund our obligations or will be available on terms consistent with our expectations.
•Consumer sentiment and discretionary spending patterns: To date there have been significant increases in unemployment in the United States and other regions due to the adoption of social distancing and other policies to slow the spread of the virus, which are likely to continue to have a significant negative impact on consumer discretionary spending, including in the mobility industry and the travel industry, which we serve. Even when economic and operating conditions for our business improve, we cannot predict the long-term effects of the pandemic on our business or the mobility industry.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR INDUSTRY AND THE BROADER ECONOMY
We face risks related to the high level of competition in the mobility industry.
The mobility industry is highly competitive, with price being one of the primary competitive factors. To the extent that our competitors reduce their pricing and we do not provide competitive pricing, or if price increases we implement make us less competitive, we risk losing rental volume from existing customers, and reducing the chances of success for future bids for new customer accounts. If competitive pressures lead us to lose rental volume or match any downward pricing and we are unable to reduce our operating costs, then our financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely impacted.
Additionally, pricing in the vehicle rental industry is impacted by the size of rental fleets and the supply of vehicles available for rent. Any significant fluctuations in the supply of rental vehicles available in the market due to an unexpected decrease in demand, or actions taken by our competitors that increases fleet significantly above market demand, could negatively affect our pricing, operating plans or results of operations.
The competitive environment for our mobility services has become more intense as additional companies, including automobile manufacturers, ride-hailing companies, car sharing companies and other technology players in the mobility industry enter our existing markets or expand their operations, which may affect demand for rental vehicles. Some of these companies may have access to substantial capital, innovative technologies or have the ability to provide services at a relatively low cost. To the extent these companies can improve transportation efficiency, alter driving patterns or attitudes toward vehicle rental, offer more competitive prices or fleet management services, more effectively utilize mobile platforms, undertake more aggressive marketing campaigns, price their competing services below market or otherwise disrupt the mobility industry, we risk heightened pricing competition and/or loss of rental volume, which could adversely impact our business and results of operations.
The risk of competition on the basis of pricing in the truck rental industry can be even more impactful than in the car rental industry as it can be more difficult to reduce the size of our truck rental fleet in response to significantly reduced demand.
We face risks related to fleet costs and availability.
Fleet costs typically represent our single largest expense and can vary from year to year based on the prices that we are able to purchase and dispose of our vehicles. We purchase program vehicles, which are guaranteed a rate of depreciation through agreements with auto manufacturers, and non-program, or “risk” vehicles. In 2020, on average approximately 76% of our rental fleet was comprised of risk vehicles.
The costs of our risk vehicles may be adversely impacted by the relative strength of the used car market, particularly the market for one- to two-year old used vehicles, or potentially by the insolvency or bankruptcy of an auto manufacturer from whom we purchase vehicles. We currently sell risk vehicles through various sales channels in the used vehicle marketplace, including traditional auctions, on-line auctions, direct-to-dealer sales and directly to consumers through either retail lots or our Ultimate Test Drive on-line consumer car sales program. These channels may not produce stable vehicle prices in the future, as the market for used vehicles is subject to changes in demand for such vehicles, consumer interests, inventory levels, new car pricing, interest rates, fuel costs, tariffs and general economic conditions. A reduction in residual values for risk vehicles in our rental fleet could cause us to sustain a substantial loss on the ultimate sale of such vehicles or require us to depreciate those vehicles at a more accelerated rate than previously anticipated while we own them.
If the market value of the vehicles in our fleet is reduced or our ability to sell vehicles in the used vehicle marketplace were to become severely limited, we may have difficulty meeting collateral requirements due under our asset-backed financing facilities, which could lead to decreased capacity in such facilities and effectively increase our fleet costs or adversely impact our profitability. In addition, if we are unable to meet our collateral requirements under such facilities, the outstanding principal amount due may be required to be repaid earlier than anticipated. If that were to occur, the holders of our asset-backed debt may have the ability to exercise their right to instruct the trustee to direct the return of program vehicles and/or the sale of risk vehicles to generate proceeds sufficient to repay such debt.
Program and leased vehicles enable us to determine our depreciation expense in advance of purchase. Our program and leased vehicles also generally provide us with flexibility to reduce the size of our fleet rapidly. This flexibility is affected as the percentage of program vehicles in our fleet is reduced, or if the features of the programs provided by auto manufacturers are less favorable. Our inability to reduce the size of our fleet in response to seasonal demand fluctuations, economic constraints or other changes in demand could have an adverse impact on our fleet costs and results of operations.
Failure by a manufacturer to fulfill its obligations under any program agreement or incentive payment obligation, due to insolvency, bankruptcy or other reasons, could leave us with a material expense if we are unable to dispose of program vehicles at prices estimated at the time of purchase or with a substantial unpaid claim against the manufacturer, particularly with respect to program vehicles that were either (i) resold for an amount less than the amount guaranteed under the applicable program and therefore subject to a “true-up” payment obligation from the manufacturer; or (ii) returned to the manufacturer, but for which we were not yet paid, and therefore we could incur a substantial loss as a result of such failure to perform.
While we source our fleet purchases from a wide range of auto manufacturers, we are exposed to risk to the extent that any auto manufacturer significantly curtails production, increases the cost of vehicles or declines to sell vehicles to us on terms or at prices consistent with past practice. Should any of these risks occur, we may be unable to obtain a sufficient number of vehicles to operate our business without significantly increasing our fleet costs or reducing our volumes.
We face risks related to safety recalls affecting our vehicles.
Our vehicles may be subject to safety recalls by their manufacturers, which could have an adverse impact on our business when we remove recalled vehicles from our rentable fleet. We cannot control nor predict the number of vehicles that will be subject to manufacturer recalls in the future. Recalls often require us to retrieve vehicles from customers and/or hold vehicles until we can arrange for the repairs described in the recalls to be completed. As such, recalls can increase our costs, negatively impact our revenues and/or reduce our fleet utilization. If a large number of vehicles were to be the subject of one or more recalls, or if needed replacement parts were not in adequate supply, we may be unable to utilize recalled vehicles for a significant period of time. We could also face liability claims related to vehicles subject to a safety recall. Depending on the nature and severity of the recall, it could create customer service problems, reduce the residual value of the vehicles involved, harm our general reputation and/or have an adverse impact on our financial condition or results of operations.
Weakness in travel demand or general economic conditions, or a significant increase in fuel costs, can adversely impact our business.
Demand for vehicle rentals is generally subject to and impacted by international, national and local economic conditions and travel demand. When travel demand or economic conditions in the United States, Europe and/or worldwide weakens, our financial condition and results of operations are often adversely impacted.
Any significant airline capacity reductions, airfare or related fee increases, reduced flight schedules, or any events that disrupt or reduce business or leisure air travel or weaken travel demand and tourism, such as work stoppages, military conflicts, terrorist incidents, natural disasters, disease epidemics, or the response of governments to any such events, could have an adverse impact on our results of operations. In addition, any significant increases in fuel prices, a severe protracted disruption in fuel supplies or rationing of fuel could discourage our customers from renting vehicles or reduce or disrupt air travel, which could also adversely impact our results of operations.
Our truck rental business can be impacted by the housing market. If conditions in the housing market were to weaken, we may see a reduction in truck rental transactions, which could have an adverse impact on our business. Our truck rental business can also be impacted by changes in the light commercial business sector. If the light commercial business develops their own package delivery service with a fleet of trucks and vans to use for their business, or other large competitors enter the package delivery service industry, in particular around the holiday season, we may see a reduction in truck rental transactions, which could have an adverse impact on our business.
We face risks related to political, economic and commercial instability or uncertainty in the countries in which we operate.
Our global operations expose us to risks related to international, national and local economic and political conditions and instability. For example, our operations in the United Kingdom include a significant amount of cross-border business that could be negatively impacted by the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Given the lack of comparable precedent, it is unclear what financial, trade and legal implications the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union will have and how such withdrawal will affect our operations. Such withdrawal could lead to volatility in the global financial markets, adversely affect tax, legal and regulatory regimes and could impact the economies of the United Kingdom and other countries in which we operate, which could have a material adverse effect on our results in such countries. Operating our business in a number of different regions and countries exposes us to a number of other risks, including:
•multiple and potentially conflicting laws, regulations, trade policies and agreements that are subject to change;
•varying tax regimes, including consequences from changes in applicable tax laws;
•the imposition of currency restrictions, restrictions on repatriation of earnings or other restraints, as well as difficulties in obtaining financing in foreign countries for local operations;
•potential changes to import-export laws, trade treaties or tariffs in the countries where we purchase vehicles;
•international trade disruptions or disputes, including in connection with the ongoing trade negotiations between the United States and China;
•local ownership or investment requirements, or compliance with local laws, regulations or business practices;
•uncertainty and changes to political and regulatory regimes as a result of changing social, political, regulatory and economic environments in the United States and internationally;
•national and international conflict, including terrorist acts; and
•political and economic instability or civil unrest that may severely disrupt economic activity in affected countries.
Exposure to these risks may adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations. Our licensees’ vehicle rental operations may also be impacted by political, economic and commercial instability, which in turn could impact the amount of royalty payments they make to us.
RISKS RELATED TO THE NATURE OF OUR BUSINESS
Damage to our reputation or brands may negatively impact our business.
Our reputation and global brands are integral to the success of our business. Maintenance of our Company’s reputation and brands depends on many factors, including the quality of our products and services and the trust we maintain with our customers. Negative claims or publicity regarding our Company or our operations, offerings, practices, among many other things, may damage our brands or reputation, even if such claims are untrue. Damage to our reputation or brands could adversely impact our revenue and profitability.
Any failure to adapt to changes in the mobility industry, provide a high-quality rental experience for our customers and members, adopt new technologies, capitalize on cost saving initiatives or meet customer needs could substantially harm our reputation and competitiveness and could adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations.
We face risks related to third-party distribution channels that we rely upon.
We rely upon third-party distribution channels to generate a significant portion of our vehicle rental reservations, including:
•traditional and online travel agencies, airlines and hotel companies, marketing partners such as credit card companies and membership organizations and other entities that help us attract customers; and
•global distribution systems (“GDS”), such as Amadeus, Galileo/Apollo, Sabre and Worldspan, that connect travel agents, travel service providers and corporations to our reservation systems.
Changes in our pricing agreements, commission schedules or arrangements with third-party distribution channels, the termination of any of our relationships or a reduction in the transaction volume of such channels, or a GDS’s inability to process and communicate reservations to us could have an adverse impact on our financial condition or results of operations, particularly if our customers are unable to access our reservation systems through alternate channels.
We face risks related to our property leases and vehicle rental concessions.
We lease or have vehicle rental concessions at locations throughout the world, including at most airports where we operate and at train stations throughout Europe, where vehicle rental companies are frequently required to bid periodically for space at these locations. If we were to lose a property lease or vehicle rental concession, particularly at an airport or a train station in a major metropolitan area, there can be no assurance that we would be able to find a suitable replacement location on reasonable terms which could adversely impact our business. Most leases and airport concessions have fixed obligations that can be required even if our volume drops significantly. While we have been successful at partially mitigating some of these requirements in the past, including when enplanements have decreased significantly, there is no guarantee that we will be able to do so in the future, and if we are not successful our costs as a percentage of revenue could increase.
We face risks related to the seasonality of our business.
In our business, the third quarter of the year has historically been our most profitable quarter, as measured by net income and Adjusted EBITDA, due to the increased level of summer leisure travel and household moving activity. We vary our fleet size over the course of the year to help manage seasonal variations in demand, as well as localized changes in demand that we may encounter in the various regions in which we operate. Any circumstance or occurrence that disrupts rental activity during the third quarter, especially in North America and Europe, could have a disproportionately adverse impact on our financial condition or results of operations.
We face risks related to acquisitions, including the acquisition of existing licensees or investments in or partnerships with other related businesses.
We may engage in strategic transactions, including the acquisition of, or investment in, existing licensees and/or other businesses, partnerships or joint ventures. The risks involved in engaging in these types of transactions include the possible failure to successfully integrate the operations of acquired businesses, or to realize expected benefits within the anticipated time frame, or at all, such as cost savings, synergies, sales and growth opportunities. In addition, the integration of an acquired business or oversight of a partnership or joint venture may result in material unanticipated challenges, expenses, liabilities or competitive responses, including:
•inconsistencies between our standards, procedures and policies and those of an acquired business, partnership and/or joint venture;
•costs or inefficiencies associated with the integration of our operational and administrative systems;
•the increased scope and complexity of our operations could require significant attention from management and could impose constraints on our operations or other projects;
•unforeseen expenses, delays or conditions, including required regulatory or other third-party approvals or consents, or provisions in contracts with third parties that could limit our flexibility to take certain actions;
•an inability to retain the customers, employees, suppliers and/or marketing partners of an acquired business, partnership or joint venture or generate new customers or revenue opportunities through a strategic partnership;
•the costs of compliance with local laws and regulations and the implementation of compliance processes, as well as the assumption of unexpected liabilities, litigation, penalties or other enforcement actions;
•exposure to undetected malware and viruses embedded in the acquired IT systems of the acquired entity; and
•higher than expected costs arising due to unforeseen changes in tax, trade, environmental, labor, safety, payroll or pension policies.
Any one of these factors could result in delays, increased costs or decreases in the amount of expected revenues related or derived from a strategic transaction and could adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations.
We face risks related to vehicle electrification.
Vehicle electrification refers to a range of technologies that uses electricity to propel a vehicle and includes hybrid, plug-in, extended range and battery electric vehicles, as well as autonomous vehicles. We believe that the vehicle industry will continue to experience significant change in the coming years, in particular as it relates to vehicle electrification. Worldwide demand for electric and hybrid vehicles continues to increase, and manufacturers continue to invest more time and cost into producing these types of vehicles to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, as mandated by various governmental standards and regulations. If we are not adequately prepared to meet consumer demand for electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles as such demand develops, our financial condition or results of operations could be adversely impacted.
We face risks related to liability and insurance.
Our global operations expose us to several forms of liability, including claims for bodily injury, death and property damage related to the use of our vehicles, or for having our customers on our premises, as well as workers’ compensation and other employment-related claims by our employees. We may become exposed to uninsured liability at levels in excess of our historical levels. In addition, liabilities related to existing or future claims may exceed the level of our reserves and/or our insurance, which could adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, insurance with unaffiliated insurers may not continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms or at all. Should we be subject to an adverse ruling, or experience other significant liability for which we did not plan and were not adequately insured, our results of operations, financial position or cash flows could be negatively impacted.
We reinsure certain insurance exposures as well as offer optional insurance coverages through unaffiliated third-party insurers that then reinsure all or a portion of their risks through our insurance company subsidiaries, which subjects us to regulation under various insurance laws and statutes in the jurisdictions in which our insurance company subsidiaries are domiciled. Any changes in regulations that alter or impede our reinsurance obligations or insurance subsidiary operations could adversely impact the economic benefits that we rely upon to support our reinsurance efforts, which in turn would adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations.
Optional insurance products that we offer to renters in the United States, including, but not limited to, supplemental liability insurance, personal accident insurance and personal effects protection, are regulated under state laws governing such products. Our vehicle rental operations outside the United States must also comply with certain local laws and regulations regarding the sale of supplemental liability and personal accident and effects insurance by intermediaries. Any changes in law that affect our operating requirements with respect to our sale of optional insurance products could increase our costs of compliance or make it uneconomical to offer such products, which would lead to a reduction in revenue and profitability. Should more of our customers decline to purchase optional liability insurance products as a result of any changes in these laws or otherwise, our financial condition or results of operations could be adversely impacted.
We offer loss damage waivers to our customers as an option for them to reduce their financial responsibility that may be incurred as a result of loss or damage to the rental vehicle. Certain states in the United States have enacted legislation that mandates disclosure to each customer at the time of rental that damage to the rented vehicle may be covered to some extent by the customer’s personal automobile insurance and that loss damage waivers may not be necessary. In addition, some states have statutes that establish or cap the daily rate that can be charged for loss damage waivers. Should new laws or regulations arise that place new limits on our ability to offer loss damage waivers to our customers, our financial condition or results of operations could be adversely impacted.
Additionally, current U.S. federal law pre-empts state laws that impute tort liability based solely on ownership of a vehicle involved in an accident. If such federal law were to change, our insurance liability exposure could materially increase.
We may be unable to collect amounts that we believe are owed to us by customers, insurers and other third parties related to vehicle damage claims or liabilities. The inability to collect such amounts in a timely manner or to the extent that we expect could adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations.
We face risks related to fluctuations in currency exchange rates.
Our operations generate revenue and incur operating costs in a variety of currencies. The financial position and results of operations of many of our foreign subsidiaries are reported in the relevant local currency and then translated to U.S. dollars at the applicable currency exchange rate for inclusion in our Consolidated Financial Statements. Changes in exchange rates among these currencies and the U.S. dollar will affect, among other things, the recorded levels of our assets and liabilities in our Consolidated Financial Statements. While we take steps to manage our currency exposure, such as currency hedging, we may not be able to effectively limit our exposure to intermediate- or long-term movements in currency exchange rates, which could adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations.
We face risks related to our derivative instruments.
We typically utilize derivative instruments to manage fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, interest rates and gasoline prices. The derivative instruments we use to manage our risk are usually in the form of interest rate swaps and caps and foreign exchange and commodity contracts. Periodically, we are required to determine the change in fair value, called the “mark-to-market,” of some of these derivative instruments, which could expose us to substantial mark-to-market losses or gains if such rates or prices fluctuate materially from the time we entered into the derivatives. Accordingly, volatility in rates or prices may adversely impact our financial position or results of operations and could impact the cost and effectiveness of our derivative instruments in managing our risks.
Earnings for future periods may be impacted by impairment charges for goodwill and intangible assets.
We carry a significant amount of goodwill and identifiable intangible assets on our consolidated balance sheets. Goodwill is the excess of purchase price over the fair value of the net assets of acquired businesses. We assess goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment each year, or more frequently if circumstances suggest an impairment may have occurred. We have determined in the past and may again determine in the future that a significant impairment has occurred in the value of our goodwill. Additionally, we have a significant amount of identifiable intangible assets and fixed assets that could also be subject to impairment. If we determine that a significant impairment has occurred in the value of our unamortized intangible assets or fixed assets, we could be required to write off a portion of our assets, which could adversely affect our consolidated financial condition or our reported results of operations.
RISKS RELATED TO LEGAL AND REGULATORY MATTERS
Costs associated with lawsuits, investigations or increases in legal reserves that we establish based on our assessment of contingent liabilities may have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
Our global operations expose us to various claims, lawsuits and other legal proceedings that arise in and outside of the ordinary course of our business in the countries in which we operate. We may be subject to complaints and/or litigation involving our customers, licensees, employees, independent operators and others with whom we conduct business, including claims for bodily injury, death and property damage related to use of our vehicles or our locations, or claims based on allegations of discrimination, misclassification as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, wage and hour pay disputes, COVID-19 complaints and various other claims. We could be subject to substantial costs and/or adverse outcomes from such complaints or litigation, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, cash flows or results of operations.
At some of our locations, we outsource to third party independent contractors who operate the business as a separate entity. The independent contractors are paid a commission for operating their business under our brands. There is a growing trend in the United States aimed at the gig economy to define independent contractors as employees. As such, we are subject to legislative and or judicial determination that any such changes are applicable to these independent contractors. Such determinations may require us to change the business operations and make such independent contractor locations employee operated. This could potentially expose us to additional costs and material liability under federal and state labor and employment and tax laws.
From time to time, our Company may be reviewed or investigated by government regulators, which could lead to tax assessments, enforcement actions, fines and penalties or the assertion of private litigation claims. It is not possible to predict with certainty the outcome of claims, investigations and lawsuits, and we could in the future incur judgments, taxes, fines or penalties or enter into settlements of lawsuits or claims that could have an adverse impact on our financial condition or results of operations. In addition, while we maintain insurance coverage with respect to exposure for certain types of legal claims, we may not be able to obtain such insurance on acceptable terms in the future, if at all, and any such insurance may not provide adequate coverage against any such claims.
We face risks related to laws and regulations that could impact our global operations.
We are subject to multiple, and sometimes conflicting, laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate that relate to, among others, consumer protection, competition and antitrust, customer privacy and data protection, securities and public disclosure, automotive retail sales, franchising, corruption and anti-bribery, environmental matters, taxes, automobile-related liability, labor and employment matters, cost and fee recovery, currency-exchange and other various banking and financial industry regulations, health and safety, insurance rates and products, claims management, protection of our trademarks and other intellectual property and other trade-related laws and regulations. We cannot predict the nature, scope or effect of future regulatory requirements to which our global operations may be subject or the manner in which existing or future laws may be administered or interpreted. Any alleged or actual violations of any law or regulation, change in law, regulation, trade treaties or tariffs, or changes in the interpretation of existing laws or regulations may subject us to government scrutiny, investigation and civil and criminal penalties, limit our ability to provide services in any of the countries in which we operate and could result in a material adverse impact on our reputation, business, financial position or results of operations.
In certain countries where we have Company-operated locations, we may recover certain costs from consumers, including costs associated with the title and registration of our vehicles, or concession costs imposed by an airport authority or the owner and/or operator of the premises from which our vehicles are rented. We may in the future be subject to potential laws or regulations that could negatively impact our ability to separately state, charge and recover such costs, which could adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations.
In recognition of the contribution that our various operations located in different countries provide to the global network, we implemented a new transfer pricing policy. We are seeking Advanced Pricing Agreements with certain tax authorities to obtain certainty regarding our new transfer pricing policy but our efforts have been delayed due to COVID-19. While this effort is ongoing, the process of negotiating and ultimately entering into these agreements may take several years. The ultimate results of our negotiations of these agreements with tax authorities, the expiration of such agreements, or changes in circumstances or in the interpretation of such agreements could increase our tax costs in these jurisdictions. Many countries routinely examine transfer pricing policies of taxpayers subject to their jurisdiction, challenge transfer pricing practices aggressively where there is potential non-compliance and impose significant interest charges and penalties where non-compliance is determined. To the extent we do not have an existing Advance Pricing Agreement or other agreement, governmental authorities could challenge our transfer pricing policy in the future and, if challenged, we may not prevail, which could increase our tax costs or reduce savings related to our transfer pricing policy.
We face risks related to environmental laws and regulations.
We are subject to a wide variety of environmental laws and regulations in connection with our operations, including, among other things, with respect to the ownership or use of tanks for the storage of petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuel and motor and waste oils; the treatment or discharge of waste waters; and the generation, storage, transportation and off-site treatment or disposal of solid or liquid wastes. We maintain liability insurance covering storage tanks at our locations. In the United States, we administer an environmental compliance program designed to ensure that these tanks are properly registered in the jurisdiction in which they are located and are in compliance with applicable technical and operational requirements. The tank systems located at each of our locations may not at all times remain free from undetected leaks, and the use of these tanks has resulted in, and from time to time in the future may result in, spills, which may be significant and may require remediation and expose us to material uninsured liability or liabilities in excess of insurance.
We may also be subject to requirements related to the remediation of substances that have been released into the environment at properties owned or operated by us or at properties to which we send substances for treatment or disposal. Such remediation requirements may be imposed without regard to fault and liability for environmental remediation can be substantial. These remediation requirements and other environmental regulations differ depending on the country where the property is located. We have made, and will continue to make, expenditures to comply with environmental laws and regulations, including, among others, expenditures for the remediation of contamination at our owned and leased properties, as well as contamination at other locations at which our wastes have reportedly been identified. Our compliance with existing or future environmental laws and regulations may, however, require material expenditures by us or otherwise have an adverse impact on our financial condition or results of operations.
Environmental regulatory authorities are likely to continue to pursue measures related to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, including vehicle travel restrictions. Should rules establishing limitations on greenhouse gas or other emissions or rules imposing fees on entities deemed to be responsible for greenhouse gas emission, or rules establishing bans on diesel or fuel vehicles from entering certain locations become effective in the countries in which we operate, demand for our services could be affected, our fleet and/or other costs could increase, and our business could be adversely impacted.
We face risks related to franchising or licensing laws and regulations.
We license to third parties the right to operate locations using our brands in exchange for royalty payments. Our licensing activities are subject to various laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate. In particular, laws in the United States require that we provide extensive disclosure to prospective licensees in connection with licensing offers and sales, as well as comply with franchise relationship laws that could limit our ability to, among other things, terminate license agreements or withhold consent to the renewal or transfer of these agreements. We are also subject to certain regulations affecting our license arrangements in Europe and other international
locations. Should our operations become subject to new laws or regulations that negatively impact our ability to engage in licensing activities, our financial condition or results of operations could be adversely impacted.
We face risks related to the actions of, or failures to act by, our licensees, dealers, independent operators or third-party vendors.
Our vehicle rental licensee and dealer locations are independently owned and operated. We also operate many of our Company-owned locations through agreements with independent operators, which are third-party independent contractors who receive commissions to operate such locations. We also enter into service contracts with various third-party vendors that provide services for us or in support of our business. Under our agreements with our licensees, dealers, independent operators and third-party vendors (collectively referred to as “third-party operators”), the third-party operators retain control over the employment and management of all personnel at their locations or in support of the services that they provide our Company. These agreements also generally require that third-party operators comply with all laws and regulations applicable to their businesses, including relevant internal policies and standards. Regulators, courts or others may seek to hold us responsible for the actions of, or failures to act by, third-party operators or their employees based on theories of vicarious liability, negligence, joint operations or joint employer liability. Although we actively monitor the operations of these third-party operators, and under certain circumstances have the ability to terminate their agreements for failure to adhere to contracted operational standards, we are unlikely to detect all misconduct or noncompliance by a third-party operator or its employees. It is our policy to vigorously seek to be dismissed from any claims involving third-party operators and to pursue indemnity for any adverse outcomes that affect the Company. Failure of third-party operators to comply with laws and regulations or our operational standards, or our inability to be dismissed from claims against our third-party operators, may expose us to liability, damages and negative publicity that may damage our brand and reputation and adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations.
We face risks associated with tax reform.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) eliminated the use of like-kind exchange for personal property and also included a provision allowing for full expensing of qualified property purchases through the year 2022. Since 2004, we have utilized a like-kind exchange program whereby we replace vehicles in a manner that allows tax gains on vehicles sold in the U.S. to be deferred, resulting in a material deferral of U.S. federal and state income taxes. While the Tax Act repealed like-kind exchange treatment for vehicle sales, the effect of the repeal will be largely offset through 2022 by the full expensing provision of certain business assets in the year placed in service, which we believe includes our vehicles. However, the downsizing of our fleet in 2020 resulted in significant taxable gains and has significantly decreased the amount of tax deductions available under the full expensing provision. This has resulted in the utilization of tax attributes and increased federal and state income tax liabilities that could require us to make material cash payments. Furthermore, a downsizing or reduction in purchases would also likely occur if, and to the extent, we are unable to obtain financing when our asset-backed rental vehicle financings mature, or in connection with another significant decrease in demand for vehicle rentals. The full expensing provision phases out at the end of year 2022 and we are not certain if this provision will be extended. Certain U.S. states have modified their tax statutes as a result of the Tax Act, and such state legislation negates the full expensing benefits granted under the Tax Act, which negatively impacts our tax liability in such states. Other U.S. states continue to modify their tax statutes related to full expensing. Therefore, we cannot offer assurance that the benefits from the expected tax deductions will continue.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR INDEBTEDNESS
We face risks related to our current and future debt obligations.
Our ability to satisfy and manage our debt obligations depends on our ability to generate cash flow and on overall financial market conditions. To some extent, this is subject to prevailing economic and competitive conditions and to certain financial, business and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. Our outstanding debt obligations require us to dedicate a significant portion of our cash flows to pay interest and principal on our debt, which reduces the funds available to us for other purposes. Our business may not generate sufficient cash flow from operations to permit us to service our debt obligations and meet our other cash needs, which may force us to reduce or delay capital expenditures, sell or curtail assets or operations, seek additional capital or seek to restructure or refinance our indebtedness. If we must sell or curtail our assets or operations, it may negatively
affect our ability to generate revenue. Certain of our debt obligations contain restrictive covenants and provisions applicable to us and our subsidiaries that limit our ability to, among other things:
•incur additional debt to fund working capital, capital expenditures, debt service requirements, execution of our business strategy or acquisitions and other purposes;
•provide guarantees in respect of obligations of other persons;
•pay dividends or distributions, redeem or repurchase capital stock;
•prepay, redeem or repurchase debt;
•create or incur liens;
•make distributions from our subsidiaries;
•sell assets and capital stock of our subsidiaries;
•consolidate or merge with or into, or sell substantially all of our assets to, another person; and
•respond to adverse changes in general economic, industry and competitive conditions, as well as changes in government regulation and changes to our business.
Our failure to comply with the restrictive covenants contained in the agreements or instruments that govern our debt obligations, if not waived, would cause a default under the applicable debt agreement and could result in a cross-default under several of our other debt obligations, including our U.S. and European asset-backed debt facilities. If such a default were to occur, certain provisions in our various debt agreements could require that we repay or accelerate debt payments to the lenders or holders of our debt, and there can be no assurance that we would be able to refinance or obtain a replacement for such financing programs.
We face risks related to movements or disruptions in the credit and asset-backed securities markets.
We finance our vehicle fleet purchases and operations through the use of asset-backed securities in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe and other debt financing structures available through the credit markets. If the asset-backed financing and/or credit markets were to be disrupted for any reason, we may be unable to obtain refinancing for our operations or vehicle fleet purchases at current levels, or at all, when our respective asset-backed financings or debt financings mature. Likewise, any disruption of the asset-backed financing or credit markets could also increase our borrowing costs, as we seek to engage in new financings or refinance our existing financings. In addition, we could be subject to increased collateral requirements to the extent that we request any amendment or renewal of any of our existing asset-backed or debt financings.
We face risks related to potential increases in interest rates.
A portion of our borrowings, primarily our vehicle-backed borrowings, bears interest at variable rates that expose us to interest rate risk. If interest rates were to increase, whether due to an increase in market interest rates or an increase in our own cost of borrowing, our debt service obligations for our variable rate indebtedness would increase even though the amount of borrowings remained the same, and our results of operations could be adversely affected. As of December 31, 2020, our total outstanding debt of approximately $11.1 billion included unhedged interest rate sensitive debt of approximately $1.9 billion. During our seasonal borrowing peak in 2020, outstanding unhedged interest rate sensitive debt totaled approximately $5.5 billion.
Virtually all of our debt under vehicle programs and certain of our corporate indebtedness matures within the next five years. If we are unable to refinance maturing indebtedness at interest rates that are equivalent to or lower than the interest rates on our maturing debt, our results of operations or our financial condition may be adversely affected.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MATTERS, DATA SECURITY AND PRIVACY
We face risks related to our protection of our intellectual property.
We have registered certain marks and designs as trademarks in the United States and in certain other countries. At times, competitors may adopt service names similar to ours, thereby impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to market confusion. In addition, we have been subject to, and from time to time in the future may be subject to, trade name or trademark infringement claims brought by owners of other registered trademarks or trademarks that incorporate variations of our registered trademarks. From time to time, we have acquired or attempted to acquire Internet domain names held by others when such names have caused consumer confusion or had the potential to cause consumer confusion. Our efforts to enforce or protect our proprietary rights related to trademarks, trade secrets, domain names, copyrights or other intellectual property may be ineffective and could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and could adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations.
We face risks related to our reliance on communications networks and centralized information systems.
We rely heavily on the satisfactory performance and availability of our information systems, including our reservation systems, websites and network infrastructure to attract and retain customers, accept reservations, process rental and sales transactions, manage our fleet of vehicles, account for our activities and otherwise conduct our business. We have centralized our information systems and we rely on third-party communications service and system providers for technology services and link our systems with the business locations these systems were designed to serve. We have been subjected to, and from time to time in the future may be subject to, a failure or interruption that results in the unavailability of certain of our information systems. Such a failure or interruption, or a major disruption of communications between a system and the locations it serves, could cause a loss of reservations, interfere with our fleet management, slow rental and sales processes, create negative publicity that damages our reputation or otherwise adversely impacts our ability to manage our business effectively. We may experience system interruptions or disruptions for a variety of reasons, including from network failures, power outages, cyber attacks, employee errors, software errors, an unusually high volume of visitors attempting to access our systems, or other events such as fire, explosions, earthquakes, storms, floods, epidemics, strikes, acts of war, civil unrest or terrorist acts. Because we are dependent in part on independent third parties for the implementation and maintenance of certain aspects of our systems and because some of the causes of system interruptions may be outside of our control, we may not be able to remedy such interruptions in a timely manner, or at all. Our systems’ business continuity plans and insurance programs seek to mitigate such risks but they cannot fully eliminate the risks as a disruption could be experienced in any of our information systems.
We face risks related to cybersecurity breaches of our systems and information technology.
Threats to network and data security are becoming increasingly diverse and sophisticated. As cybersecurity threats become more frequent, intense and sophisticated, costs of proactive defense measures may increase. Third parties may have the technology or expertise to breach the security of our customer transaction data and our security measures may not prevent physical security or cybersecurity breaches, which could result in substantial harm to our business, our reputation or our results of operations. We rely on encryption and/or authentication technology licensed from and, at times, administered by independent third parties to secure transmission of confidential information, including credit card numbers and other customer personal information. Our outsourcing agreements with these third-party service providers, including third-party hosted cloud environments, generally require that they have adequate security systems in place to protect our customer transaction data. Despite the implementation of cybersecurity measures (including access controls, data encryption, vulnerability assessments, continuous monitoring, and maintenance of backup and protective systems), our information technology systems or those used by our third-party service providers may still be vulnerable to a breach.
In addition, anyone who is able to circumvent our security measures, or those of our third-party service providers, could misappropriate proprietary information or cause interruptions in our operations. Risks of cybersecurity incidents caused by malicious third parties using sophisticated, targeted methods to circumvent firewalls, encryption, and other security defenses, could include hacking, viruses, malicious software, ransomware, phishing attacks, denial of service attacks and other attempts to capture, disrupt or gain unauthorized access to data are
rapidly evolving and could lead to disruptions in our reservation system or other data systems, unauthorized release of confidential or otherwise protected information or corruption of data. The techniques used by third parties change frequently and may be difficult to detect for long periods of time. Any successful efforts by individuals to infiltrate, break into, disrupt, damage or otherwise steal from the Company’s, its licensees’ or its third-party service providers’ security or information systems could damage our reputation and expose us to increased cybersecurity protection costs, litigation or other liability that could adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations. A cybersecurity breach resulting in the unauthorized use or disclosure of certain personal information could put individuals at risk of identity theft and financial or other harm and result in costs to the Company in investigation, remediation, legal defense and in liability to parties who are financially harmed. Failure to appropriately address these issues could also give rise to potentially material legal risks and liabilities.
We are subject to privacy, data protection, data security and other regulations, as well as private industry standards, which could negatively impact our global operations and cause us to incur additional incremental expense or reputational harm that impacts our future operating results.
Our business requires the secure processing and storage of personal information relating to our customers, employees, business partners and others. Current privacy and data protection laws, particularly the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the equivalent in the United Kingdom (collectively, the “GDPR”), California Consumer Privacy Act including modifications by the California Privacy Rights Act (collectively, the “CCPA”), and other regulations in the jurisdictions in which we operate impose obligations and restrictions regarding the types of information that we may collect, process, sell and retain about our customers, employees and other individuals with whom we deal or propose to deal, some of which may be non-public personal data. The GDPR and CCPA, are each wide-ranging in scope, providing individuals located in the European Union and the United Kingdom, and California residents, respectively, greater control over their personal data. These laws impose several requirements relating to rights of the individuals to whom the personal data relates, the information provided to the individuals, the security and confidentiality of the personal data, data breach notification, the use of third-party processors in connection with the processing of personal data, and the transfer or sale of personal data, and measures we must take to demonstrate compliance. The GDPR and CCPA also impose significant forfeitures and penalties for noncompliance and afford private rights of action to individuals under certain circumstances. The Company has adopted policies and procedures in compliance with the GDPR and CCPA, which may need to be updated as additional information concerning best practices are made available through guidance from regulatory authorities or published enforcement decisions. Privacy laws in the countries where we operate are developing at a rapid pace and may be interpreted and applied inconsistently from country to country, or from state to state in the U.S., and impose inconsistent or conflicting requirements. Complying with varying jurisdictional privacy requirements could increase our operating costs, divert management attention or require additional changes to our business practices. Should we be found to not be in compliance with the GDPR, CCPA or similar privacy and data protection laws, we could be subject to substantial monetary forfeitures, government consent decrees, regulatory enforcement actions, and other penalties that could negatively impact our operating results or harm our reputation.
The centralized nature of our information systems combined with the global nature of our business requires the routine flow of information about employees, customers and potential customers across national borders, particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. Should this flow of information become illegal or subject us to onerous requirements or restrictions, our ability to serve our customers and efficiently manage our employees and operations could be negatively impacted for an extended period of time. In addition, our failure to maintain the security of the data we hold, whether as a result of our own error or the actions of others, could harm our reputation or give rise to legal liabilities that adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations. Privacy and data protection laws and regulations restrict the ways that we process our transaction information and the Payment Card Industry imposes strict customer credit card data security standards to ensure that our customers’ credit card information is protected. Failure to meet these data security standards could result in substantial increased fees to credit card companies, other liabilities and/or loss of the right to collect credit card payments, which could adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations.
GENERAL RISK FACTORS
We face risks related to the market price of our common stock.
We cannot predict the prices at which our common stock will trade. The market price of our common stock has experienced substantial volatility in the past and may fluctuate widely in the future, depending on many factors, some of which may be beyond our control, including, but not limited to, the factors described in this “Risk Factors” section and the section titled “Forward-Looking Statements.” If any of these factors occur, it could cause our stock price to fall and may expose us to litigation, including class action lawsuits that, even if unsuccessful, could be costly to defend and a distraction to management.
Certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation and by-laws and Delaware law could prevent or delay a potential acquisition of control of our Company, which could decrease the trading price of our common stock.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, amended and restated by-laws and the laws in the State of Delaware contain provisions that are intended to deter coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids by making such practices or bids unacceptably expensive to the prospective acquirer and to encourage prospective acquirers to negotiate with our Board of Directors rather than to attempt a hostile takeover. Delaware law also imposes restrictions on mergers and other business combinations between us and any holder of 15% or more of our outstanding common stock.
We believe these provisions protect our stockholders from coercive or otherwise unfair takeover tactics by effectively requiring those who seek to obtain control of the Company to negotiate with our Board of Directors and by providing our Board with more time to assess any acquisition of control. However, these provisions could apply even if an acquisition of control of the Company may be considered beneficial by some stockholders and could delay or prevent an acquisition of control that our Board of Directors determines is not in the best interests of our Company and our stockholders.
| ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS|
Our principal executive offices are located at 6 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, New Jersey 07054 pursuant to a lease agreement that expires in 2023. We own a facility in Virginia Beach, Virginia, which serves as a satellite administrative facility for our car and truck rental operations. We also lease office space in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Boston, Massachusetts, pursuant to leases expiring in 2025 and 2023, respectively. These locations primarily provide operational and administrative services or contact center operations for our Americas segment. We also lease office space in Bracknell, England, Barcelona, Spain and Budapest, Hungary, pursuant to leases expiring in 2027, 2024 and 2021, respectively, for corporate offices, contact center activities and other administrative functions, respectively, for our International segment. Other office locations throughout the world are leased for administrative, regional sales and operations activities.
We lease or have vehicle rental concessions for our brands at locations throughout the world. We own approximately 2% of the locations from which we operate and in some cases we sublease to franchisees or other third parties. The remaining locations from which we operate our vehicle rental businesses are leased or operated under concession agreements with governmental authorities and private entities. Those leases and concession agreements typically require the payment of minimum rents or minimum concession fees and often also require us to pay or reimburse operating expenses, to pay additional rent, or concession fees above guaranteed minimums, based on a percentage of revenues or sales arising at the relevant premises, or to do both. See Note 3 to our Consolidated Financial Statements for information regarding lease commitments.
We believe that our properties are sufficient to meet our present needs and we do not anticipate any difficulty in securing additional space, as needed, on acceptable terms.
| ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS|
For information regarding legal proceedings, see Note 15 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
| ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES|
| ITEM 5.||MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER|
|MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES|
MARKET FOR COMMON EQUITY
Our common stock is currently traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (“NASDAQ”) under the symbol “CAR.” At January 31, 2021, the number of stockholders of record was 2,346.
We neither declared nor paid any cash dividend on our common stock in 2020 or 2019, and we do not currently anticipate paying cash dividends on our common stock. However, we evaluate our dividend policy on a regular basis and may pay dividends in the future, subject to compliance with the covenants in our senior credit facility, the indentures governing our senior notes and our vehicle financing programs. The declaration and payment of future dividends to holders of our common stock will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will also depend upon many factors, including our financial condition, earnings, capital requirements of our businesses, covenants associated with certain debt obligations, legal requirements, regulatory constraints, industry practice and other factors that the Board of Directors deems relevant.
SECURITIES AUTHORIZED FOR ISSUANCE UNDER EQUITY COMPENSATION PLANS
The following table provides information about shares of our common stock that may be issued upon the exercise of options and restricted stock units under all of our existing equity compensation plans as of December 31, 2020.
Number of Securities to be Issued Upon Exercise of Outstanding Options, Warrants, Rights and Restricted Stock Units (a)
Exercise Price of
Warrants and Rights
Stock Units) ($)
Number of Securities Remaining Available for Future Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans (Excluding Securities Reflected in First Column) (b)
|Equity compensation plans approved by security holders ||2,148,002 ||$||— ||4,457,508 |
|Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders||— ||— ||— |
|Total||2,148,002 ||$||— ||4,457,508 |
(a)Includes awards granted under the Amended and Restated Equity and Incentive Plan, which plan was approved by stockholders.
(b)Represents 4,457,508 shares available for issuance under the Amended and Restated Equity and Incentive Plan.
ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
The Company’s Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to approximately $1.8 billion of its common stock under a plan originally approved in 2013 and subsequently expanded, most recently in August 2019. The Company’s stock repurchases may occur through open market purchases or trading plans pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The amount and timing of specific repurchases are subject to market conditions, applicable legal requirements and other factors. The repurchase program may be suspended, modified or discontinued at any time without prior notice. The repurchase program has no set expiration or termination date. During the three months ended December 31, 2020, no common stock repurchases were made under the plan.
Set forth below are a line graph and table comparing the cumulative total stockholder return of our common stock against the cumulative total returns of peer group indices, the S&P Midcap 400 Index, and the Dow Jones U.S. Transportation Average Index for the period of five fiscal years commencing December 31, 2015 and ending December 31, 2020. The broad equity market indices used by the Company are the S&P Midcap 400 Index, which measures the performance of mid-sized companies, and the Dow Jones U.S. Transportation Average Index, which measures the performance of transportation companies. The graph and table depict the result of an investment on December 31, 2015 of $100 in the Company’s common stock, the S&P Midcap 400 Index and the Dow Jones U.S. Transportation Average Index, including investment of dividends.
|As of December 31,|
|2015||2016|| ||2017|| ||2018|| ||2019|| ||2020|
|Avis Budget Group, Inc.||$||100.00 ||$||101.07 ||$||120.91 ||$||61.95 ||$||88.84 ||$||102.78 |
|S&P Midcap 400 Index||$||100.00 ||$||120.74 ||$||140.35 ||$||124.80 ||$||157.49 ||$||179.00 |
|Dow Jones U.S. Transportation Average Index||$||100.00 ||$||122.32 ||$||145.59 ||$||127.65 ||$||154.24 ||$||179.72 |
| ITEM 6.||SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA|
|MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF|
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with Item 1 Business, Item 1A Risk Factors and our Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying Notes included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K commencing on page F-1. Our actual results of operations may differ materially from those discussed in forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including but not limited to those included in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” and other portions of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Unless otherwise noted, all dollar amounts in tables are in millions.
We operate three of the most globally recognized brands in mobility solutions, Avis, Budget and Zipcar together with several other brands, well recognized in their respective markets. Our brands offer a range of options, from car and truck rental to car sharing in North America, Europe, Australasia and certain other regions we serve, with an average rental fleet of approximately 533,000 vehicles. We also license the use of our trademarks to licensees in the areas in which we do not operate directly. We and our licensees operate our brands in approximately 180 countries throughout the world.
Business and Trends
The spread of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and the impact on travel demand and the global economy has had significant negative impacts on all aspects of our business. Significant events affecting travel have historically had an impact on vehicle rental volumes, with the full extent of the impact generally determined by the length of time the event influences travel decisions. COVID-19 and the resulting economic conditions have had, and we believe will continue to have, a significant negative impact on our operations and vehicle rental volumes and consequently our financial results, and such negative impact may continue well beyond the containment of this outbreak. In particular:
•Reservation volume was significantly behind the prior year on a comparable basis as a result of the effects of COVID-19, which impacted our peak summer season. We are not able to predict the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on the seasonality of our business, particularly if the pandemic's effects increase.
•The used vehicle market was significantly disrupted in the first half of the second quarter, impacting our ability to dispose of used vehicles as a result of COVID-19. Beginning in the second half of the second quarter and continuing throughout the third and fourth quarters, the used car market improved significantly. If there are further disruptions due to COVID-19, we may experience a reduction in residual values for risk vehicles in our fleet which could cause us to sustain a substantial loss on the ultimate sale of such vehicles or require us to depreciate those vehicles at a more accelerated rate than we have anticipated. If our ability to sell vehicles in the used vehicle market becomes severely limited again, we may have difficulty meeting collateral requirements due under our asset-backed financing facilities.
•In April 2020, Moody’s and S&P Global (the “Rating Agencies”) downgraded our long-term corporate debt rating. If we were to experience a further downgrade, this could negatively impact our ability to respond to adverse changes in general economic, industry and competitive conditions, as well as changes in government regulation and changes to our business.
•As a result of decreased rental volume, we parked our vehicles in overflow parking lots. In April 2020, we experienced a fire at an overflow parking lot near Southwest Florida International Airport. As a result, we have lost vehicles with an estimated carrying value of approximately $50 million. We realized a loss of approximately $10 million related to this incident, which has been treated as COVID-19 charges and excluded from Adjusted EBITDA. We could experience similar casualty losses in other overflow parking lots.
•We have taken cost removal and mitigation actions by eliminating all non-essential capital and operating expenditures and we are continuing to negotiate with partners and suppliers for further reductions. Expenses for 2020 reflect the reduction or furlough of a large part of our global workforce, reduction of base compensation at the level of vice presidents and above, frozen merit increases, elimination of our 401(k) match for highly compensated employees, and cancellation of future hiring. We aggressively reduced the size of our global fleet beginning in March and ended December with 31% fewer units than the prior year. Our vehicle dispositions will occur through both traditional methods and by utilizing our alternative distribution strategy by selling directly to dealers and consumers. We also negotiated a significant number of new vehicle cancellations during 2020 to improve utilization and shrink the fleet size.
We have never previously experienced such a decrease in demand, and as a result, our ability to be predictive regarding the impact of such a decrease is uncertain. In addition, the duration of the pandemic is uncertain. As a consequence, we cannot estimate the impact on our business, financial condition or financial forecast or operational results with reasonable certainty. Our results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows were significantly impacted during the year ended December 31, 2020, by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The trends and results for the year ended December 31, 2020 may not be indicative of results that may be expected in the future due to uncertainty regarding the extent and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A discussion regarding our financial condition and results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to 2019 is presented below. A discussion regarding our financial condition and results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to 2018 can be found under Item 7 in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the SEC on February 20, 2020, which is available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and our Investor Relations website at ir.avisbudgetgroup.com.
We measure performance principally using the following key metrics: (i) rental days, which represent the total number of days (or portion thereof) a vehicle was rented, (ii) revenue per day, which represents revenues divided by rental days, (iii) vehicle utilization, which represents rental days divided by available rental days, available rental days is defined as average rental fleet times the number of days in the period, and (iv) per-unit fleet costs, which represent vehicle depreciation, lease charges and gain or loss on vehicle sales, divided by average rental fleet. Our rental days, revenue per day and vehicle utilization metrics are all calculated based on the actual rental of the vehicle during a 24-hour period. We believe that this methodology provides us with the most relevant metrics in order to manage the business. Our calculation may not be comparable to the calculation of similarly-titled metrics by other companies. We present currency exchange rate effects to provide a method of assessing how our business performed excluding the effects of foreign currency rate fluctuations. Currency exchange rate effects are calculated by translating the current-year results at the prior-period average exchange rate plus any related gains and losses on currency hedges.
We assess performance and allocate resources based upon the separate financial information of our operating segments. In identifying our reportable segments, we also consider the nature of services provided by our operating segments, the geographical areas in which our segments operate and other relevant factors. Management evaluates the operating results of each of our reportable segments based upon revenues and “Adjusted EBITDA,” which we define as income from continuing operations before non-vehicle related depreciation and amortization, any impairment charges, restructuring and other related charges, early extinguishment of debt costs, non-vehicle related interest, transaction-related costs, net, charges for unprecedented personal-injury and other legal matters, non-operational charges related to shareholder activist activity, gain on sale of equity method investment in China, COVID-19 charges and income taxes. Net charges for unprecedented personal-injury and other legal matters and gain on sale of equity method investment in China are recorded within operating expenses in our consolidated results of operations. Non-operational charges related to shareholder activist activity include third party advisory, legal and other professional service fees and are recorded within selling, general and administrative expenses in our consolidated results of operations. COVID-19 charges include unusual, direct and incremental costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as minimum annual guaranteed rent in excess of concession fees for the period, overflow parking for idle vehicles and related shuttling costs, incremental cleaning supplies to sanitize vehicles and facilities and other charges, and losses associated with vehicles damaged in overflow parking lots, net of insurance proceeds, and are primarily recorded within operating expenses in our consolidated results of operations. We have revised our definition of Adjusted EBITDA to exclude COVID-19 charges. We did not revise prior years' Adjusted EBITDA amounts because there were no other charges similar in nature to these. We believe Adjusted EBITDA is useful as a supplemental
measure in evaluating the performance of our operating businesses and in comparing our results from period to period. We also believe that Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors because it allows them to assess our results of operations and financial condition on the same basis that management uses internally. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for net income or other income statement data prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Our presentation of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly-titled measures used by other companies.
Year Ended December 31, 2020 vs. Year Ended December 31, 2019
Our consolidated results of operations comprised the following:
|2020||2019||$ Change||% Change|
|Revenues||$||5,402 ||$||9,172 ||$||(3,770)||(41 ||%)|
|Operating||3,322 ||4,698 ||(1,376)||(29 ||%)|
|Vehicle depreciation and lease charges, net||1,368 ||2,063 ||(695)||(34 ||%)|
|Selling, general and administrative||703 ||1,237 ||(534)||(43 ||%)|
|Vehicle interest, net||318 ||344 ||(26)||(8 ||%)|
Non-vehicle related depreciation and amortization
|286 ||263 ||23 ||9 ||%|
Interest expense related to corporate debt, net:
|Interest expense||231 ||178 ||53 ||30 ||%|
|Early extinguishment of debt||9 ||12 ||(3)||(25 ||%)|
|Restructuring and other related charges||118 ||80 ||38 ||48 ||%|
|Transaction-related costs, net||3 ||10 ||(7)||(70 ||%)|
|Total expenses||6,358 ||8,885 ||(2,527)||(28 ||%)|
|Income (loss) before income taxes||(956)||287 ||(1,243)||n/m|
|Provision for (benefit from) income taxes||(272)||(15)||(257)||n/m|
|Net income (loss)||$||(684)||$||302 ||$||(986)||n/m|
n/m Not meaningful.
Because of the impact of COVID-19, revenues decreased during 2020 compared to 2019, driven by a 38% decrease in volume and a 6% decrease in revenue per day excluding exchange rate movements, partially offset by an $8 million benefit from currency exchange rate movements. Total expenses during the year ended December 31, 2020 decreased compared to 2019, primarily due to strategic cost reduction initiatives and reduced operational activities because of the impact of COVID-19.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, all expenses increased as a percentage of revenue, with the exception of selling, general and administrative costs, as a result of the impact of COVID-19, partially offset by strategic cost reduction initiatives to right-size the business. Operating expenses increased to 61.5% of revenue during 2020 compared to 51.2% in 2019. Vehicle depreciation and lease charges increased to 25.3% of revenue during 2020 compared to 22.5% in 2019. Selling, general and administrative costs decreased to 13.0% of revenue during 2020 compared to 13.5% in 2019, primarily due to strategic cost reduction initiatives to right-size the business. Vehicle interest costs increased to 5.9% of revenue during 2020 compared to 3.8% in 2019.
Our effective tax rates were a benefit of 28% and 5% for the year ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, which in 2019 included a $113 million one-time benefit arising from the release of valuation allowances on certain of our foreign deferred tax assets primarily driven by tax planning strategies. As a result of these items, our net income decreased compared to 2019.
For 2020, the Company reported losses of $9.71 per diluted share. For 2019, the Company reported earnings of $3.98 per diluted share, which includes a one-time benefit arising from the release of valuation allowances on certain of our foreign deferred tax assets primarily driven by tax planning strategies of $1.50 per share.
Following is a more detailed discussion of the results of each of our reportable segments:
| ||Revenues||Adjusted EBITDA||Revenues||Adjusted EBITDA|
|Americas||$||3,965 ||$||72 ||$||6,352 ||$||652 |
|International||1,437 ||(202)||2,820 ||203 |
Corporate and Other (a)
|— ||(45)||— ||(67)|
|Total Company||$||5,402 ||$||(175)||$||9,172 ||$||788 |
|Reconciliation of net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA|
|Net income (loss)||$||(684)||$||302 |
|Provision for (benefit from) income taxes||(272)||(15)|
|Income (loss) before income taxes||(956)||287 |
|Add:||Non-vehicle related depreciation and amortization||286 ||263 |
|Interest expense related to corporate debt, net:|
|Interest expense||231 ||178 |
|Early extinguishment of debt||9 ||12 |
COVID-19 Charges (b)
|122 ||— |
Restructuring and other related charges (c)
|118 ||80 |
Unprecedented personal-injury and other legal matters, net (d)
|8 ||— |
Non-operational charges related to shareholder activist activity (e)
|4 ||2 |
Transaction-related costs, net (f)
|3 ||10 |
Gain on sale of equity method investment in China (d)
|Adjusted EBITDA||$||(175)||$||788 |
(a) Includes unallocated corporate overhead which is not attributable to a particular segment.
(b) For the year ended December 31, 2020, consists of $116 million within operating expenses, $5 million within selling, general and administrative expenses and $1 million within vehicle depreciation and lease charges, net in our consolidated results of operations. Primarily consisting of $60 million of minimum annual guaranteed rent in excess of concession fees, $48 million of incremental cleaning supplies to sanitize vehicles and facilities, overflow parking for idle vehicles and related shuttling costs and other charges and $14 million of losses associated with vehicles damaged in overflow parking lots, net of insurance proceeds.
(c) Other related charges include costs associated with the separation of certain officers of the Company.
(d) Reported within operating expenses in our consolidated results of operations.
(e) Reported within selling, general and administrative expenses in our consolidated results of operations.
(f) Primarily comprised of acquisition- and integration-related expenses.
|Revenues||$||3,965 ||$||6,352 ||(38 ||%)|
|Adjusted EBITDA||72 ||652 ||(89 ||%)|
Revenues decreased 38% during 2020, compared to 2019, primarily due to a 36% decrease in volume and a 3% decrease in revenue per day excluding exchange rate effects as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
Operating expenses increased to 58.9% of revenue during 2020 compared to 50.2% in 2019, primarily due to impacts directly related to COVID-19, partially offset by strategic cost reduction initiatives to right-size the
business. Vehicle depreciation and lease charges increased to 24.4% of revenue during 2020 compared to 23.0% in 2019, primarily due to impacts directly related to COVID-19, partially offset by 23% lower per-unit fleet costs. Selling, general and administrative costs decreased to 10.5% of revenue during 2020 compared to 12.1% in 2019, primarily due to strategic cost reduction initiatives to right-size the business. Vehicle interest costs increased to 6.9% of revenue during 2020 compared to 4.5% in 2019, primarily due to impacts directly related to COVID-19, partially offset by strategic cost reduction initiatives to right-size the business.
Adjusted EBITDA decreased 89% during 2020, compared to 2019, due to lower revenues directly related to COVID-19.
|Revenues||$||1,437 ||$||2,820 ||(49 ||%)|
|Adjusted EBITDA||(202)||203 ||n/m|
Revenues decreased 49% during 2020, compared to 2019, primarily due to a 42% decrease in volume and a 13% decrease in revenue per day excluding exchange rate movements as a result of the impact of COVID-19, partially offset by a $9 million benefit from currency exchange rate movements.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, all expenses increased as a percentage of revenue as a result of the impact of COVID-19, partially offset by strategic cost reduction initiatives to right-size the business. Operating expenses increased to 68.5% of revenue during 2020 compared to 53.5% in 2019. Vehicle depreciation and lease charges increased to 27.9% of revenue during 2020 compared to 21.3% in 2019. Selling, general and administrative costs increased to 16.5% of revenue during 2020 compared to 14.3% in 2019. Vehicle interest costs increased to 3.1% of revenue during 2020 compared to 2.1% in 2019.
Adjusted EBITDA decreased during 2020, compared to 2019, due to lower revenues directly related to COVID-19.
Corporate and Other
|Revenues||$||— ||$||— ||n/m|
n/m Not meaningful.
Adjusted EBITDA decreased $22 million during 2020, compared to 2019, primarily due to lower selling, general and administrative expenses related to cost reduction initiatives, which are not attributable to a particular segment.
|FINANCIAL CONDITION, LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES|
We present separately the financial data of our vehicle programs. These programs are distinct from our other activities as the assets under vehicle programs are generally funded through the issuance of debt that is collateralized by such assets. The income generated by these assets is used, in part, to repay the principal and interest associated with the debt. Cash inflows and outflows relating to the generation or acquisition of such assets and the principal debt repayment or financing of such assets are classified as activities of our vehicle programs. We believe it is appropriate to segregate the financial data of our vehicle programs because, ultimately, the source of repayment of such debt is the realization of such assets.
|As of December 31,|
|Total assets exclusive of assets under vehicle programs||$||8,365 ||$||9,311 ||$||(946)|
|Total liabilities exclusive of liabilities under vehicle programs||9,053 ||8,538 ||515 |
|Assets under vehicle programs||9,173 ||13,815 ||(4,642)|
|Liabilities under vehicle programs||8,640 ||13,932 ||(5,292)|
|Stockholders’ equity||(155)||656 ||(811)|
The decrease in assets and liabilities under vehicle programs compared to 2019 is primarily related to the reduction of our vehicle rental fleet to right-size our business in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decrease in stockholders’ equity compared to 2019 is primarily due to our comprehensive loss and share repurchases.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
Our principal sources of liquidity are cash on hand and our ability to generate cash through operations and financing activities, as well as available funding arrangements and committed credit facilities, each of which is discussed below.
During 2020, our Avis Budget Rental Car Funding subsidiary issued approximately $700 million and $650 million in asset-backed notes with an expected final payment date of August 2025 and February 2026, and a weighted average interest rate of 2.42% and 2.28%, respectively. The proceeds from these borrowings were used to fund the repayment of maturing vehicle-backed debt and the acquisition of rental cars in the United States.
In April 2020, we entered into an amendment (the “Amendment”) to our senior credit facilities, consisting of an approximately $1.2 billion term loan maturing in 2027 and a $1.8 billion revolving credit facility maturing in 2023, which remain in place after the Amendment. The Amendment provides for relief from the quarterly-tested leverage covenant contained in the credit agreement governing the senior credit facilities until the end of a specific relief period, including a holiday from such leverage covenant through June 30, 2021, during which time (i) certain negative covenant exceptions are not available to the Company, (ii) pricing on the senior credit facilities is increased, (iii) the Company must comply with a liquidity covenant and additional reporting requirements and (iv) the Company must meet additional conditions to borrow under the revolving credit facility.
In May 2020, we issued $500 million of 10½% Senior Secured Notes due May 2025. We used the proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes. In August 2020, we issued $350 million of additional 5¾% Senior Notes due July 2027 to redeem the outstanding $100 million in aggregate principal amount of our 5½% Senior Notes due 2023, with the remainder being used for general corporate purposes.
During the first quarter of 2020, we repurchased approximately 5.0 million shares of our outstanding common stock for approximately $113 million.
Year Ended December 31, 2020 vs. Year Ended December 31, 2019
The following table summarizes our cash flows:
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Cash provided by (used in):|
|Operating activities||$||691 ||$||2,586 ||$||(1,895)|
|Investing activities||3,177 ||(2,752)||5,929 |
|Financing activities||(4,045)||318 ||(4,363)|
Effect of changes in exchange rates on cash and cash equivalents, program and restricted cash
|42 ||13 ||29 |
Net change in cash and cash equivalents, program and restricted cash
Cash and cash equivalents, program and restricted cash, beginning of period
Cash and cash equivalents, program and restricted cash, end of period
|$||765 ||$||900 ||$||(135)|
Cash provided by operating activities during 2020 was substantially lower compared with 2019 due to reduced operational activities as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
The decrease in cash used in investing activities during 2020 compared with 2019 is primarily due to a decrease in investment in vehicles.
The decrease in cash provided by financing activities during 2020 compared with 2019 is primarily due to a decrease in net borrowings under vehicle programs.
We anticipate that our non-vehicle property and equipment additions will be approximately $235 million in 2021.
Debt and Financing Arrangements
At December 31, 2020, we had approximately $11.1 billion of indebtedness (including corporate indebtedness of approximately $4.2 billion and debt under vehicle programs of approximately $6.9 billion). For detailed information regarding our debt and borrowing arrangements, see Notes 13 and 14 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Our primary liquidity needs include the procurement of rental vehicles to be used in our operations, servicing of corporate and vehicle-related debt and the payment of operating expenses. The present intention of management is to reinvest the undistributed earnings of our foreign subsidiaries indefinitely into our foreign operations. Our primary sources of funding are operating revenue, cash received upon the sale of vehicles, borrowings under our vehicle-backed borrowing arrangements and our senior revolving credit facility, and other financing activities.
Our liquidity position has been impacted by COVID-19 as a result of significant volume declines and we expect the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. and worldwide economies to continue to affect our volumes even after the outbreak is contained. Our liquidity could be further negatively affected by any financial market disruptions or the absence of a recovery or worsening of the U.S. and worldwide economies, which may result in unfavorable conditions in the mobility industry, in the asset-backed financing market and in the credit markets generally. We believe these factors have affected and could further affect the debt ratings assigned to us by credit rating agencies and the cost of our borrowings. Additionally, a worsening or prolonged downturn in the worldwide economy or a disruption in the credit markets could further impact our liquidity due to (i) decreased demand and pricing for vehicles in the used-vehicle market, (ii) increased costs associated with, and/or reduced capacity or increased collateral needs under, our financings, (iii) the adverse impact of vehicle manufacturers being unable or unwilling to honor their obligations to repurchase or guarantee the depreciation on the related program vehicles and (iv) disruption in our ability to obtain financing due to negative credit events specific to us or affecting the overall debt market (see Item 1A. Risk Factors for further discussion).
As of December 31, 2020, we had access to $0.7 billion of available cash and cash equivalents and available borrowings under our revolving credit facility of approximately $0.6 billion, providing us with access to an approximate $1.3 billion of total liquidity. See Note 1 to our Consolidated Financial Statements for detailed information on liquidity and management’s plans.
Our liquidity position could also be negatively impacted if we are unable to remain in compliance with the new liquidity covenant, the consolidated first lien leverage ratio requirement after the end of the waiver period on June 30, 2021 and other covenants associated with our senior credit facilities and other borrowings. As of December 31, 2020, we were in compliance with the financial covenants governing our indebtedness.
The following table summarizes our principal future contractual obligations as of December 31, 2020:
|Corporate debt ||$||19 ||$||18 ||$||18 ||$||732 ||$||1,182 ||$||2,289 ||$||4,258 |
|Debt under vehicle|
|1,626 ||2,444 ||1,224 ||885 ||621 ||102 ||6,902 |
|Debt interest||481 ||414 ||353 ||276 ||156 ||130 ||1,810 |
|Operating leases||686 ||498 ||424 ||297 ||223 ||1,081 ||3,209 |
Commitments to purchase vehicles (a)
|8,740 ||— ||— ||— ||— ||— ||8,740 |
Defined benefit pension plan contributions (b)
|9 ||— ||— ||— ||— ||— ||9 |
|86 ||53 ||27 ||7 ||4 ||— ||177 |
|$||11,647 ||$||3,427 ||$||2,046 ||$||2,197 ||$||2,186 ||$||3,602 ||$||25,105 |
(a)Represents commitments to purchase vehicles, the majority of which are from Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors. These commitments are generally subject to the vehicle manufacturers satisfying their obligations under the repurchase and guaranteed depreciation agreements. The purchase of such vehicles is generally financed through borrowings under vehicle programs in addition to cash received upon the sale of vehicles, some of which were purchased under repurchase and guaranteed depreciation programs (see Note 15 to our Consolidated Financial Statements).
(b)Represents the expected contributions to our defined benefit pension plans in 2021. The amount of future contributions to our defined benefit pension plans will depend on the rates of return generated from plan assets and other factors (see Note 18 to our Consolidated Financial Statements) and are not included above.
(c)Primarily represents commitments under service contracts for information technology, telecommunications and marketing agreements with travel service companies.
(d)Excludes income tax uncertainties of $24 million, $13 million of which is subject to indemnification by Realogy and Wyndham. We are unable to estimate the period in which these income tax uncertainties are expected to be settled.
For more information regarding guarantees and indemnifications, see Note 15 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Critical Accounting Policies
In presenting our financial statements in conformity with GAAP, we are required to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported therein. Several of the estimates and assumptions we are required to make relate to matters that are inherently uncertain as they pertain to future events and/or events that are outside of our control. If there is a significant unfavorable change to current conditions, it could result in a material adverse impact to our consolidated results of operations, financial position and liquidity. We believe that the estimates and assumptions we used when preparing our financial statements were the most appropriate at that time. Presented below are those accounting policies that we believe require subjective and complex judgments that could potentially affect reported results. However, our businesses operate in environments where we are paid a fee for a service performed, and therefore the results of the majority of our recurring operations are recorded in our financial statements using accounting policies that are not particularly subjective, nor complex.
Goodwill and Other Indefinite-lived Intangible Assets. We have reviewed the carrying value of our goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment. In performing this review, we are required to make an assessment of fair value for our goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets. When determining fair value, we utilize various assumptions, including the fair market trading price of our common stock and management’s
projections of future cash flows, which include forecast of future revenue and Adjusted EBITDA. A change in these underlying assumptions will cause a change in the results of the tests and, as such, could cause the fair value to be less than the respective carrying amount. In such event, we would then be required to record a charge, which would impact earnings. We review the carrying value of goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment annually or more frequently if circumstances indicate that an impairment may have occurred.
Our goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets are allocated among our reporting units. During 2020, 2019 and 2018, there was no impairment of goodwill and no material impairment of other intangible assets, see Note 7 to our Consolidated Financial Statements. For our Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) reporting unit, the percentage by which the estimated fair value exceeded the carrying value as of October 1, 2020 was 17% and the amount of goodwill allocated to our reporting unit was $488 million. We will continue to closely monitor actual results versus our expectations as well as any significant changes in events or conditions, including the impact of COVID-19 on our business and the travel industry, and the resulting impact to our assumptions about future estimated cash flows, the discount rate and market multiples. In the future, failure to achieve our business plans, a further deterioration of the general economic conditions of the countries in which we operate, or significant changes in the assumptions and estimates that are used in our impairment testing for goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets (such as the discount rate) could result in significantly different estimates of fair value that could trigger an impairment of the goodwill of our reporting units or intangible assets.
Vehicles. We present vehicles at cost, net of accumulated depreciation, on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. We record the initial cost of the vehicle, net of incentives and allowances from manufacturers. We acquire our rental vehicles either through repurchase and guaranteed depreciation programs with certain automobile manufacturers or outside of such programs. For rental vehicles purchased under such programs, we depreciate the vehicles such that the net book value on the date of sale or return to the manufacturers is intended to equal the contractual guaranteed residual values. For risk vehicles acquired outside of manufacturer repurchase and guaranteed depreciation programs, we depreciate based on the vehicles’ estimated residual market values at their expected dates of disposition. The estimation of residual values requires the Company to make assumptions regarding the age and mileage of the vehicle at the time of disposal, as well as expected used vehicle market conditions. The Company regularly evaluates estimated residual values and adjusts depreciation rates as appropriate. Differences between actual residual values and those estimated result in a gain or loss on disposal and are recorded as part of vehicle depreciation and lease charges, net, at the time of sale. See Note 2 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Income Taxes. We account for income taxes under the asset and liability method, which requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been reflected in the financial statements. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on the differences between the financial statement and tax bases of assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. The effect of a change in tax rates on deferred tax assets and liabilities is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date.
We record net deferred tax assets to the extent we believe these assets will more likely than not be realized. In making such determination, we consider all available positive and negative evidence, including scheduled reversals of deferred tax liabilities, projected future taxable income, tax planning strategies and recent results of operations. In the event we were to determine that we would be able to realize deferred income tax assets in the future in excess of their net recorded amount, we would make an adjustment to the valuation allowance which would reduce the provision for income taxes. Currently we do not record valuation allowances on the majority of our tax loss carryforwards as there are adequate deferred tax liabilities that could be realized within the carryforward period.
See Notes 2 and 9 to our Consolidated Financial Statements for more information regarding income taxes.
Public Liability, Property Damage and Other Insurance Liabilities. Insurance liabilities on our Consolidated Balance Sheets include supplemental liability insurance, personal effects protection insurance, public liability, property damage and personal accident insurance claims for which we are self-insured. We estimate the required liability of such claims on an undiscounted basis utilizing an actuarial method that is based upon various assumptions which include, but are not limited to, our historical loss experience and projected loss development factors. The required liability is also subject to adjustment in the future based upon changes in claims experience, including changes in the number of incidents for which we are ultimately liable and changes in the cost per incident.
Adoption of New Accounting Pronouncements
For a description of our adoption of new accounting pronouncements and the impact thereof on our business, see Note 2 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements
For a description of recently issued accounting pronouncements and the impact thereof on our business, see Note 2 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
| ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK|
We are exposed to a variety of market risks, including changes in currency exchange rates, interest rates and gasoline prices. We manage our exposure to market risks through our regular operating and financing activities and, when deemed appropriate, through the use of derivative financial instruments, particularly currency forward contracts to manage and reduce currency exchange rate risk; swap contracts, futures and options contracts, to manage and reduce the interest rate risk related to our debt; and derivative commodity instruments to manage and reduce the risk of changing unleaded gasoline prices.
We are exclusively an end user of these instruments. We do not engage in trading, market-making or other speculative activities in the derivatives markets. We manage our exposure to counterparty credit risk related to our use of derivatives through specific minimum credit standards, diversification of counterparties, and procedures to monitor concentrations of credit risk. Our counterparties are substantial investment and commercial banks with significant experience providing such derivative instruments.
Our total market risk is influenced by a wide variety of factors including the volatility present within the markets and the liquidity of the markets. There are certain limitations inherent in the sensitivity analyses discussed below. These “shock tests” are constrained by several factors, including the necessity to conduct the analysis based on a single point in time and the inability to include the complex market reactions that normally would arise from the market shifts modeled. For additional information regarding our borrowings and financial instruments, see Notes 13, 14 and 19 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Currency Risk Management
We have exposure to currency exchange rate fluctuations worldwide and particularly with respect to the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars, the euro and British pound sterling. We use currency forward contracts and currency swap contracts to manage exchange rate risk that arises from certain intercompany transactions and from non-functional currency denominated assets and liabilities and earnings denominated in non-U.S. dollar currencies. Our currency forward contracts are often not designated as hedges and therefore changes in the fair value of these derivatives are recognized in earnings as they occur. We anticipate that such currency exchange rate risk will remain a market risk exposure for the foreseeable future.
We assess our market risk based on changes in currency exchange rates utilizing a sensitivity analysis. The sensitivity analysis measures the potential impact on earnings, cash flows and fair values based on a hypothetical 10% appreciation or depreciation in the value of the underlying currencies being hedged, against the U.S. dollar at December 31, 2020. With all other variables held constant, a hypothetical 10% change (increase or decrease) in currency exchange rates would not have a material impact on our 2020 earnings. Because unrealized gains or losses related to foreign currency forward and swap contracts are expected to be offset by corresponding gains or losses on the underlying exposures being hedged, when combined, these foreign currency contracts and the offsetting underlying commitments do not create a material impact on our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Interest Rate Risk Management
Our primary interest rate exposure at December 31, 2020 was interest rate fluctuations in the U.S., specifically LIBOR and commercial paper interest rates due to their impact on variable rate borrowings and other interest rate sensitive liabilities. We use interest rate swaps and caps to manage our exposure to interest rate movements. We
anticipate that LIBOR and commercial paper rates will remain a primary market risk exposure for the foreseeable future.
We assess our market risk based on changes in interest rates utilizing a sensitivity analysis. Based on our interest rate exposures and derivatives as of December 31, 2020, we estimate that a 10% change in interest rates would not have a material impact on our 2020 earnings. Because gains or losses related to interest rate derivatives are expected to be offset by corresponding gains or losses on the underlying exposures being hedged, when combined, these interest rate contracts and the offsetting underlying commitments do not create a material impact on our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Commodity Risk Management
We have commodity price exposure related to fluctuations in the price of gasoline. We anticipate that such commodity risk will remain a market risk exposure for the foreseeable future. We determined that a hypothetical 10% change in the price of gasoline would not have a material impact on our earnings as of December 31, 2020.
| ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA|
See Consolidated Financial Statements and Consolidated Financial Statement Index commencing on Page F-1 hereof.
|ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE|
| ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES|
(a) Disclosure Controls and Procedures. Under the supervision and with the participation of our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, our management conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures (as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”)). Based on such evaluation, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer have concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were effective as of the end of the period covered by this annual report.
(b) Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act. Our management assessed the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020. In making this assessment, management used the criteria set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013). Based on this assessment, our management believes that, as of December 31, 2020, our internal control over financial reporting was effective. The effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020 has been audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm. Their attestation report is included below.
(c) Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. During the fiscal quarter to which this report relates, there has been no change in the Company’s internal control over financial reporting (as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act) that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, the Company’s internal control over financial reporting.
REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the Stockholders and the Board of Directors of
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
Parsippany, New Jersey
Opinion on Internal Control over Financial Reporting
We have audited the internal control over financial reporting of Avis Budget Group, Inc. and subsidiaries (the "Company") as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). In our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by COSO.
We have also audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the consolidated financial statements and financial statement schedule as of and for the year ended December 31, 2020 of the Company and our report dated February 17, 2021 expressed an unqualified opinion on those consolidated financial statements and financial statement schedule.
Basis for Opinion
The Company's management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company's internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Definition and Limitations of Internal Control over Financial Reporting
A company's internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company's internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company's assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
/s/ DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP
New York, New York
February 17, 2021
|ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION|
| ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE|
The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference from our definitive proxy statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
| ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION|
The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference from our definitive proxy statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
|ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS|
The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference from our definitive proxy statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
| ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE|
The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference from our definitive proxy statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
| ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES|
The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference from our definitive proxy statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
| ITEM 15. EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES|
| ITEM 15(A)(1). FINANCIAL STATEMENTS|
See Consolidated Financial Statements and Consolidated Financial Statements Index commencing on page F-1 hereof.
| ITEM 15(A)(2). FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES|
See Schedule II – Valuation and Qualifying Accounts for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 commencing on page G-1 hereof.
See Exhibit Index commencing on page H-1 hereof.
Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.
|AVIS BUDGET GROUP, INC.|
|By:||/s/ CATHLEEN DEGENOVA|
|Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer|
|Date:||February 17, 2021|
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.
|/s/ JOSEPH A. FERRARO||President and Chief Executive Officer||February 17, 2021|
|(Joseph A. Ferraro)|
|/s/ BRIAN CHOI||Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer||February 17, 2021|
|/s/ CATHLEEN DEGENOVA||Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer||February 17, 2021|
|/s/ BERNARDO HEES||Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors||February 17, 2021|
|/s/ JAGDEEP PAHWA||Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors||February 17, 2021|
|/s/ LYNN KROMINGA||Director||February 17, 2021|
|/s/ GLENN LURIE||Director||February 17, 2021|
|/s/ KARTHIK SARMA||Director||February 17, 2021|
|/s/ CARL SPARKS||Director||February 17, 2021|
INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the Stockholders and the Board of Directors of
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
Parsippany, New Jersey
Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Avis Budget Group, Inc. and subsidiaries (the "Company") as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2020, and the related notes and the schedule listed in the Index at Item 15 (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2020, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
We have also audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company's internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission and our report dated February 17, 2021, expressed an unqualified opinion on the Company's internal control over financial reporting.
Change in Accounting Principle
As discussed in Note 3 to the financial statements, effective January 1, 2019, the Company adopted FASB ASC Topic 842, Leases, using the transition method allowing entities to only apply the new lease standard in the year of adoption.
Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Critical Audit Matters
The critical audit matters communicated below are matters arising from the current-period audit of the financial statements that were communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that (1) relate to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matters below, providing separate opinions on the critical audit matters or on the accounts or disclosures to which they relate.
Vehicles - Depreciation Expense - United States Risk Vehicles - Refer to Notes 2 and 8 to the financial statements
Critical Audit Matter Description
The Company records rental vehicles at cost, net of accumulated depreciation. The initial cost of the vehicles is recorded net of incentives and allowances from manufacturers. Rental vehicles acquired by the Company outside of manufacturer repurchase and guaranteed depreciation programs are referred to as risk vehicles and the carrying values of these risk vehicles are depreciated based upon the vehicles’ estimated residual values at their expected dates of disposition. The estimation of residual values for risk vehicles requires the Company to make assumptions regarding factors which include, but are not limited to, the anticipated age of the vehicles and market conditions for used vehicles at the time of disposal. The Company regularly evaluates estimated residual values and adjusts vehicle depreciation rates as appropriate. Any adjustments to depreciation are made prospectively.
Given the volume of risk vehicles in the United States and the significant estimation uncertainty and judgments made by management to calculate the estimated residual values of these risk vehicles, auditing the estimated residual values of United States risk vehicles and related vehicle depreciation expense required extensive audit effort to develop an independent expectation of residual values and depreciation expense, and a high degree of auditor judgment was required when performing audit procedures and evaluating the results of those procedures. The significant estimation uncertainty was primarily due to management’s assumptions regarding the impact of future consumer demand and general economic conditions on expected pricing of used vehicles. Additionally, auditing the calculation of the estimated residual values for United States risk vehicles was challenging due to the volume of data inputs utilized in management’s calculation, including historical sales data and data specific to the Company’s current fleet.
How the Critical Audit Matter Was Addressed in the Audit
Our audit procedures to assess the reasonableness of the estimated residual values and vehicle depreciation expense related to United States risk vehicles included the following, among others:
•We evaluated the appropriateness and consistency of the Company’s methods, significant assumptions and judgments to calculate the estimated residual values of risk vehicles and the expected dates of disposition.
•We tested the effectiveness of controls over vehicle depreciation expense related to risk vehicles and management’s review of the significant assumptions and judgments to calculate the estimated residual values of risk vehicles, including those over the Company’s monitoring of residual values and used vehicle market conditions.
•We assessed the reasonableness of the estimated residual values of risk vehicles by performing the following procedures on a selection of risk vehicles:
–We tested the underlying historical data that served as the basis for the Company’s calculation of the estimated residual values to evaluate that the inputs were reasonable.
–We tested the mathematical accuracy of the Company’s calculation of the estimated residual values and vehicle depreciation expense rates.
–We tested significant assumptions and judgments used in the Company’s calculation by developing an independent expectation of residual values and compared them to the estimated residual values calculated by the Company. Our independent expectation was calculated using our professional judgment by reference to third-party data, information produced by the Company, subsequent vehicle sales, and inquiries of management.
–We searched for contradictory evidence associated with the significant assumptions and judgments made by management based on our knowledge of the industry and review of third-party industry data.
•We developed an independent expectation of depreciation expense based on, but not limited to, the vehicles’ age and results of our residual value testing and compared it to the amount recorded by the Company as depreciation expense.
Self-Insurance Reserves - Public Liability and Property Damage Claims - United States - Refer to Note 2 to the financial statements
Critical Audit Matter Description
The Company is self-insured for public liability and property damage claims. These self-insurance reserves represent an estimate for both reported claims not yet paid and claims incurred but not yet reported. The estimated reserve requirements for such claims are calculated on an undiscounted basis using actuarial methods and various assumptions which include, but are not limited to, historical loss experience and projected loss development factors. The required liability is subject to adjustment in the future based upon changes in claims experience, including changes in the number of incidents for which the Company is ultimately liable and changes in the cost per incident.
Given the volume of public liability and property damage claims in the United States and the subjectivity of estimating the related self-insurance reserves for reported claims not yet paid and claims incurred but not yet reported due to uncertain exposure and projected loss development, performing audit procedures to evaluate whether these self-insurance reserves were appropriately recorded as of December 31, 2020 required a high degree of auditor judgment and an increased extent of effort, including the need to involve our actuarial specialists.
How the Critical Audit Matter Was Addressed in the Audit
Our audit procedures related to United States public liability and property damage self-insurance reserves included the following, among others:
•We tested the effectiveness of controls over management’s review of significant assumptions, key inputs and methods used to calculate the estimate of the reported claims not yet paid and claims incurred but not yet reported.
•We tested the underlying data that served as the basis for the Company’s actuarial analysis, including historical claims, to test that the inputs to the actuarial estimate were reasonable.
•With the assistance of our actuarial specialists, we developed an independent estimate of the self-insurance reserves, including assessment of loss data and claim development factors, and compared our estimate to management’s estimate. In addition, we performed the following:
–Evaluated the reasonableness of the methodologies used in management’s estimate based on actuarial methods followed in the insurance industry associated with such liabilities.
–Evaluated the reasonableness of the assumptions used in management’s estimate by comparing prior-year assumptions of expected development and ultimate loss to actuals incurred during the current year to identify potential bias in the determination of these liabilities.
Goodwill - Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) Reporting Unit - Refer to Notes 2 and 7 to the financial statements
Critical Audit Matter Description
The Company’s evaluation of goodwill for impairment involves the comparison of the carrying value of each reporting unit to its fair value using the present value of expected future cash flows. When appropriate, comparative market multiples and other factors are used to corroborate the discounted cash flow results. When determining fair value, the Company utilizes various assumptions, including, but not limited to, management’s projections of future cash flows, which include forecasts of future revenue and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”). A change in these underlying assumptions will cause a
change in the results of the impairment test and, as such, could cause the fair value to be less than the respective carrying amount. For the Company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) reporting unit, the percentage by which the estimated fair value exceeded the carrying value as of the annual impairment testing date was 17% and the amount of goodwill allocated to this reporting unit was $488 million. Significant changes in events or conditions, including further impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business and the travel industry, may impact the Company’s assumptions about future estimated cash flows, the discount rate and market multiples.
Given the significant judgments and assumptions made by management to estimate the fair value of the EMEA reporting unit combined with the estimation uncertainty related to the timing and magnitude of economic recovery, auditing the fair value of the EMEA reporting unit required extensive audit effort and judgment, including the need to involve our fair value specialists, when performing audit procedures to evaluate the reasonableness of management’s estimates and assumptions related to forecasts of future cash flows, specifically related to revenue and Adjusted EBITDA, and the selection of the discount rate.
How the Critical Audit Matter Was Addressed in the Audit
Our audit procedures related to forecasts of future revenue and Adjusted EBITDA and the selection of the discount rate used by management to estimate the fair value of the EMEA reporting unit included the following, among others:
•We tested the effectiveness of controls over management’s goodwill impairment evaluation, including those over the fair value calculation, forecasts of future revenue and Adjusted EBITDA, and the selection of the discount rate.
•With the assistance of fair value specialists, we evaluated the reasonableness of the valuation methodology and discount rate, including testing the source information underlying the determination of the discount rate, testing the mathematical accuracy of the calculation, and developing a range of independent estimates and comparing those to the discount rate selected by management.
•We evaluated the reasonableness of management’s revenue and Adjusted EBITDA forecasts by comparing the forecasts to:
–Historical revenue and Adjusted EBITDA.
–Internal communications to management and the Board of Directors.
–Forecasted information included in Company press releases as well as in analyst and industry reports for the Company and certain of its peer companies.
•We evaluated the reasonableness of management’s assumptions related to the severity of business disruption associated with the COVID-19 pandemic on the EMEA reporting unit and timing of economic recovery by:
–Comparing management’s analysis of the expected business disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic on the EMEA reporting unit to the business impacts observed during 2020.
–Comparing management’s analysis of the timing of economic recovery to external economic recovery and industry forecasts to evaluate contradictory evidence related to management’s assumptions regarding the expected impact of the COVID-19 business disruption and timing of recovery.
/s/ DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP
New York, New York
February 17, 2021
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 1997.
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In millions, except per share data)
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Revenues||$||5,402 ||$||9,172 ||$||9,124 |
|Operating||3,322 ||4,698 ||4,639 |
|Vehicle depreciation and lease charges, net||1,368 ||2,063 ||2,179 |
|Selling, general and administrative||703 ||1,237 ||1,220 |
|Vehicle interest, net||318 ||344 ||314 |
|Non-vehicle related depreciation and amortization||286 ||263 ||256 |
|Interest expense related to corporate debt, net:|
|Interest expense||231 ||178 ||188 |
|Early extinguishment of debt||9 ||12 ||19 |
|Restructuring and other related charges||118 ||80 ||22 |
|Transaction-related costs, net||3 ||10 ||20 |
|Total expenses||6,358 ||8,885 ||8,857 |
|Income (Loss) before income taxes||(956)||287 ||267 |
|Provision for (benefit from) income taxes||(272)||(15)||102 |
|Net income (loss)||$||(684)||$||302 ||$||165 |
|Earnings per share|
|Basic||$||(9.71)||$||4.01 ||$||2.08 |
|Diluted||$||(9.71)||$||3.98 ||$||2.06 |
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Net income (loss)||$||(684)||$||302 ||$||165 |
|Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax|
|Currency translation adjustments:|
|Currency translation adjustments, net of tax of $23, $(6) and $(8), respectively||$||33 ||$||12 ||$||(81)|
|Reclassification of currency translation adjustments to earnings||(2)||— ||— |
|Cash flow hedges:|
|Net unrealized holding gains (losses), net of tax of $14, $7, and $0, respectively||(39)||(20)||(2)|
|Reclassification of cash flow hedges to earnings, net of tax of $(3), $1, and $1, respectively||8 ||(3)||(2)|
|Minimum pension liability adjustment:|
|Pension and post-retirement benefits, net of tax of $12, $6, and $6, respectively||(36)||(20)||(23)|
|Reclassification of pension and post-retirement benefits to earnings, net of tax of $(3), $(2), and $(2), respectively||6 ||6 ||5 |
|Total comprehensive income (loss)||$||(714)||$||277 ||$||62 |
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In millions, except par value)
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||692 ||$||686 |
|Receivables (net of allowance for doubtful accounts of $60 and $52, respectively)||647 ||911 |
|Other current assets||456 ||548 |
|Total current assets||1,795 ||2,145 |
|Property and equipment, net||657 ||792 |
|Operating lease right-of-use assets||2,560 ||2,596 |
|Deferred income taxes||1,198 ||1,662 |
|Goodwill||1,137 ||1,101 |
|Other intangibles, net||774 ||798 |
|Other non-current assets||244 ||217 |
|Total assets exclusive of assets under vehicle programs||8,365 ||9,311 |
|Assets under vehicle programs:|
|Program cash||72 ||211 |
|Vehicles, net||8,153 ||12,177 |
|Receivables from vehicle manufacturers and other||281 ||778 |
|Investment in Avis Budget Rental Car Funding (AESOP) LLC—related party||667 ||649 |
|9,173 ||13,815 |
|Total assets||$||17,538 ||$||23,126 |
|Liabilities and stockholders’ equity|
|Accounts payable and other current liabilities||$||2,034 ||$||2,206 |
|Short-term debt and current portion of long-term debt||19 ||19 |
|Total current liabilities||2,053 ||2,225 |
|Long-term debt||4,191 ||3,416 |
|Long-term operating lease liabilities||2,078 ||2,140 |
|Other non-current liabilities||731 ||757 |
|Total liabilities exclusive of liabilities under vehicle programs|