Andrews Sykes continues to expand its mainland European operations. The climate control rental specialist opened its first location in Italy over the summer and has also recently opened its fourth location in the Netherlands.
The new Italian business, called Nolo Climat and based in Milan, will use the same "low cost" model as its Belgian business founded in 2007. Nolo Climat is offering heating and cooling equipment, boilers and dehumidifiers for rent.
"Although at a very early stage, management are confident that this will provide good opportunities for the years ahead", said JG Murray, Andrews Sykes chairman. The company said its fourth Netherlands location, in the north east of the country, would provide a platform for further growth in the area.
Revenues for the first six months of the year were almost unchanged at £27.7 million, with operating profits down 13% to £5.93 million. Rental revenues, which represent the vast majority of Andres Sykes' business, were down 4% to £21.7
The company said its main hire and sales business in the UK and Northern Europe has been affected by the mild weather at the end of the 2010/11 winter, which brought an early end to the heating season. In addition, although May and June saw some dry and warm weather "it was never hot enough to significantly stimulate our air conditioning business, which remained flat."
Its business in the Middle East - where it has three locations in the United Arab Emirates - continued to suffer from the economic downturn, although the company said it had recently seen improvements in trading, particularly in Abu Dhabi.
Andrews Sykes said its business remained "strong and cash generative. Our specialist hire divisions continue to perform well and we will continue to follow our policies of investing in both these and our traditional core products as well as developing our non-seasonal businesses. Overall the Board is cautiously anticipating a reasonable performance for the rest of 2011."