U-Haul International continues to grow its self-storage revenue and space, its parent company reported in a recent earnings call.

Amerco (NASDAQ: UHAL) reported that self-storage revenue rose $10.5 million, or 18.4 percent, year over year in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017, ended June 30.

“Self-storage remains strong,” said Joe Shoen, Amerco chairman. “We have a lot of products in the pipeline. Development and conversion are a preferred choice as opposed to acquisitions. But also, conversion has a longer time frame to profitability.”

Shoen added that U-Haul is starting to cover the costs for 60 locations that have been with the company for one year. Also, U-Haul has 100 projects in development and another 60 in escrow, he said.

Occupancy rising

The average monthly amount of occupied square feet increased by 14.2 percent in Q1.

“The growth in revenues and square feet rented comes from a combination of improved occupancy at existing locations as well as the addition of new facilities to the portfolio,” U-Haul said in a news release. The company added about 4.2 million net rentable square feet to its self-storage portfolio for the year ending June 30, with approximately 1 million of that added in the first quarter.

U-Haul also reported a room count, as of June 30, of 287,000 units, compared with 237,000 after FY 2016; square footage of 24.9 million (20.7 million), average monthly number of rooms occupied of 219,000 (194,000), average monthly occupancy rate based on room count of 77.4 percent (82.5 percent) and average monthly square footage occupied of 19.8 million (17.3 million).

Overall, Amerco reported net earnings of $147.2 million, or $7.51 per share. That compares with net earnings of $171.3 million, or $8.74 per share, in the year-ago period.

Bruce Goldberg