Rent-A-Center reports Q1 preliminary core U.S. SSS growth of 0.3%
Preliminary same store sales growth in the Core U.S. segment for the first quarter of 2018 increased 0.3% over the same period a year ago, with March 2018 increasing at 1.6%. The continued sequential improvement within the first quarter was primarily driven by better collections due to lower promotional activity and a higher portfolio balance versus last year driven largely by an increase in the average ticket per customer. Acceptance Now same store sales grew 3.3% in the first quarter compared to first quarter 2017. In addition, the cost savings and working capital initiatives instituted by the company earlier this year are exceeding management's expectations. Since the end of 2017, the company has reduced debt by over $75M due to the stronger topline and improved performance, primarily due to the initiatives. The company currently has approximately $175M in revolving credit availability, taking into account the $50M reserve necessary given the company's current fixed charge coverage ratio. The company has $20M currently drawn on its revolving credit facility.