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AARON RENTS REPORTS SHARPLY HIGHER EARNINGS FOR FOURTH QUARTER AND FISCAL YEAR

 AARON RENTS REPORTS SHARPLY HIGHER EARNINGS
 FOR FOURTH QUARTER AND FISCAL YEAR
 ATLANTA, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Aaron Rents, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARON), the nation's largest furniture rental and sales company, today reported sharply higher earnings for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended March 31.
 Revenues were also up for both periods. The company credited this improved performance to its program of expanding in strong market areas and selling or closing stores not meeting profit objectives. Financial results reported are preliminary and unaudited.
 Net earnings for the quarter were up 23 percent to $1.1 million, or $.25 per share compared to $865,000, or $.20 per share in the fourth quarter of 1991. Revenues increased 8 percent to $40.0 million compared to $37.1 million for the corresponding period last year.
 For the year, net earnings advanced 196 percent to $3.1 million, or $.72 per share compared to $1.0 million, or $.23 per share last year. Revenues for the year rose to $144.5 million from $143.2 million the previous year.
 Rental revenues increased 9 percent for the quarter and 8 percent during the fiscal year. All segments of the company's business showed strong gains except for the retailing of residential furniture. A strategic decision was made to de-emphasize the sale of home furniture and to emphasize resale of both home and office rental return furniture as well as pursuing aggressive expansion of the Aaron's Rent-To-Own(R) division. In addition, the Ball Stalker subsidiary had its best quarter since being acquired five years ago.
 Over the past two-plus years the company has sold, swapped or closed unprofitable stores primarily in the Northeast, California and the Midwest, and is now concentrating in markets of traditional strength. Although this restructuring is now complete, further costs are anticipated for the disposing of real estate obligations on these closed locations. The quarter and fiscal year results included a $1,200,000 pre-tax charge to earnings for additional provisions for future costs associated with the closed locations. Without this provision, earnings per share would have been $.42 and $.89 for the quarter and fiscal year respectively.
 "The results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year show a positive upward trend in line with our strategy of expanding in stronger market areas. I can see no reason why our present strong growth trend will not continue," R. Charles Loudermilk Sr., chairman and chief executive officer, said.
 The company recently announced the sale of its first Aaron's Rent- To-Own(R) franchise through its initial franchise marketing program, which was launched after significant success with company-owned rent- to-own stores. Aaron's Rent-To-Own(R) division currently operates 31 company-owned stores and plans continuing expansion of these stores in major metropolitan areas, while franchises will be awarded in smaller markets.
 The company also announced last week it had begun shipping office furniture manufactured in company-owned plants to a new furniture rental firm in Mexico City, the first penetration of that market by Aaron Rents.
 Aaron Rents, Inc., based in Atlanta, operates 150 stores in 22 states for the sale and rental of residential and office furniture and equipment. The company also produces furniture at five plants in Georgia and Florida.
 AARON RENTS, INC.
 (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 Preliminary -- Unaudited
 3 mos. Fiscal year
 Periods ended 3/31/92 3/31/91 3/31/92 3/31/91
 Revenues $39,998 $37,108 $144,549 $143,167
 Net earnings 1,061 865 3,052 1,030
 Earnings per share $ .25 $ .20 $ .72 $ .23
 Weighted average
 shares outstanding 4,229 4,263 4,228 4,414
 -0- 4/30/92
 /CONTACT: Gilbert L. Danielson, vice president - Finance and chief financial officer of Aaron Rents, 404-231-0011/
 (ARON) CO: Aaron Rents, Inc. ST: Georgia IN: REA SU: ERN


BR-BN -- AT008 -- 5008 04/30/92 13:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 30, 1992
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