AMERCO 2006 Annual Report
July 28, 2006 Download
Dear Fellow Shareholders,
This past year we have experienced tremendous growth in the market price of our common equity. For that, I trust you are pleased.
AMERCO serves many constituencies: shareholders, lenders, customers, employees, U-Haul dealers and organized political society. As a result, decisions are frequently made with priorities other than our near-term common stock price.
In 2004, I wrote regarding what I call “AMERCO’s Shareholder Value Proposition”; Point 6 is “Maintaining a reasonable price/earnings ratio on our common stock. Emphasize the strength of the company, not the strength of the stock price.” I continue to support this value proposition.
In 2006, we reinvested aggressively in our U-Move rental fleet and we are continuing this reinvestment. Further improvement on fuel economy is needed to be responsive to our customers.
Occupancy increases dominated our performance in the U-Store part of our business. These increases have been driven by service improvements for our customer base. We continue with our eMove Storage Affiliate Program and at the same time are selectively building, buying and converting more self-storage room capacity. We must progress in service, affiliates and capacity as we move ahead.
Both our U-Move and U-Store businesses are fiercely competitive. There are capable and well financed competitors constantly taking our measure. We are resolved to compete on the cutting edge.
Our Oxford Life Insurance Company is regaining its status as a regular contributor to the company’s strength.
Republic Western Insurance Company is showing modest profitability while it winds down existing lines and provides claims handling for the U-Haul organization.
As always, we are competing for human resources. Our existing teams have done well. Additional participants are needed to realize our future potential.
This July marks the completion of U-Haul Company’s 60th year of serving the American public. Our successes this year have been built on these years of service, and the good work of those who came before us.
It is our plan to serve our customers well again this year so that we have many more successful years in business.
I request your continued support and patronage of our products and services.
E.J. (Joe) Shoen