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Rent-Way Reports Record Quarterly Agreement Growth; Same Store Sales Increase 5.2% For Fiscal Year
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"...we had the best fourth quarter in our history in terms of growth of agreements"
William E. Morgenstern Chairman and CEO

Rent-Way (RWY) today reported unaudited, preliminary, fiscal 2004 full year and fourth quarter core rental business (which exclude the company's dPi Teleconnect unit) revenues of approximately $478.6 million and $115.5 million, respectively. Same store core rental business revenues increased approximately 5.2% in the 2004 fiscal year and 3.4% for the 2004 fiscal fourth quarter versus the same quarter in fiscal 2003.

"Typically, in the wake of natural disasters, our customers struggle for a time to get their lives and financial affairs in order. ... Working with our customers through difficult times is what our people do best."
William E. Morgenstern

"I am pleased to report that we had the best fourth quarter in our history in terms of growth of agreements," stated William E. Morgenstern, Rent-Way's Chairman and CEO. "The growth and our revenue performance are all the more remarkable in that we achieved them in a quarter that saw four hurricanes impact our 67 stores in Florida. As to the effect of these unfortunate hurricanes on our business, based on our historical experience, we do not expect a substantial impact. At this time we have estimated a loss for property damage at our Florida stores between $250,000 and $500,000. In fact, only 8 of our stores were directly in the path of the most serious damage. Typically, in the wake of natural disasters, our customers struggle for a time to get their lives and financial affairs in order. Rental payments are therefore delayed and it takes a month or two to get our credit measurements back in line. Working with our customers through difficult times is what our people do best." Morgenstern continued, "The success of our summer promotions has created tremendous momentum as we enter our new fiscal year. Our team delivered what we promised our stakeholders in 2004; return to profitability and strong same store comp growth."

"During the summer we introduced a new Dell/IBM computer rental program, which was very successful. We also accelerated our new store opening schedule," said William McDonnell, Rent-Way's Chief Financial Officer. "We now have signed leases for about 14 new stores, 12 of which we expect to have open by Christmas. Higher straight line depreciation expense associated with the success of introducing Dell/IBM computers in our stores, expenses associated with accelerating our new store opening program, and to a lesser extent, the impact of the hurricanes on our Florida stores, will result in operating income in the quarter being slightly lower than our previous guidance. However, our operating income for the year should be well within the ranges we forecasted at the beginning of our fiscal year." Mr. McDonnell continued, "Cash flows in the quarter continued strong and we can report that debt under our revolving bank credit agreement was reduced to zero during fourth quarter."

Rent-Way expects to release audited results for the fiscal 2004 fourth quarter and full year in late November or early December.

Rent-Way operates 754 stores in 33 states.


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