Avis moves up a gear

Car rental firm Avis Europe posted its best first-half results in five years, swinging to a profit on new contract wins and cost controls, and signalled growth in markets in Asia and the Middle East.

Trading in the July-August peak months showed good pricing performance, with volumes turning positive in recent weeks, chief executive Pascal Bazin said.

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"We are delivering strong results and starting to recover and come back to growth, so I think it is very positive for the future," he said.

Avis Europe expects to use the proceeds from a recent 181 million euros (147.6m) rights issue and 375 million euros revolving credit facility to repay debt and develop new markets, Bazin said, adding he plans to expand in Asia and the Middle East.