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Rent-A-Center Reports Positive Q1 Same Store Sales Growth In Core U.S. Business

Rent-A-Center Inc. (RCII) announced positive same store sales growth in the Core U.S. business for the first quarter of 2018 and increases annual free cash flow guidance for 2018.

Preliminary same store sales growth in the Core U.S. segment for the first quarter of 2018 increased 0.3 percent over the same period a year ago, with March 2018 increasing at 1.6 percent.

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 percent 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 $75 million due to the stronger topline and improved performance, primarily due to the initiatives.

The company currently has approximately $175 million in revolving credit availability, taking into account the $50 million reserve necessary given the Company's current fixed charge coverage ratio. The Company has $20 million currently drawn on its revolving credit facility.

The company increased its full year free cash flow guidance from at least $130 million to at least $170 million.

The company expects to release its full first quarter 2018 financial results on Monday, April 30, 2018, after the market closes.

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