Ryder System, Inc., a provider of transportation and supply chain management solutions, announced on April 26 earnings of $35.0 million for the first quarter of 2004, up 67 percent compared with $20.9 million in the year-earlier period.The revenue increase for the quarter was led by the Fleet Management Solutions (FMS) segment, which was up 4 percent compared with the first quarter of 2003. The first quarter 2004 revenue growth was driven primarily by the positive impact of acquisitions, continued improvement in the commercial rental product line, and favorable foreign exchange rates. Commercial rental revenue for the quarter increased 16 percent compared with the year-earlier period, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year rental revenue improvement."The Fleet Management Solutions segment delivered strong revenue growth, which was helped by significantly accelerated growth in our expanding commercial rental product line. This segment produced the best lease contract signings that Ryder has seen in the past three years, which should positively impact revenue in future quarters," said Ryder Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Swienton.Ryder's Fleet Management Solutions (FMS) business segment provides outsourcing of the acquisition, maintenance, management and disposal of vehicles. Ryder's commercial rental service offers customers a method to expand their fleets in order to address specific or short-term capacity needs.Full service lease and programmed maintenance revenue for the first quarter of 2004 was 4 percent higher than the same period last year because of acquisitions and growth in international revenue. Ryder's first quarter 2004 commercial rental revenue grew 16 percent from the year-earlier period. Revenue improvement was driven by better pricing and higher demand.