Kiloutou is to invest as much as €192 million in its fleet in 2019 following record spending of €203 million last year.
The company outlined its investment plans as it announced a 13.5% increase in revenues in 2018 to €689 million. The French rental business, which is owned by private equity groups HLDI and HLD Europe, did not provide any information on profit.
Kiloutou, which has 550 depots in France, Poland, Spain, Italy and Germany, reiterated its strategy to grow organically and through acquisitions. In the past 12 months it has acquired four rental companies, two in Germany and one each in Spain and France.
Other initiatives in 2019 include a new ‘Perfectly close to you’ customer promise and three product innovations focused on health and safety.
The ‘close to you’ initiative will concentrate on proximity and responsiveness to customers, linked to equipment reliability, remote technical assistance and an ‘omni-channel’ presence through depots, its website, customer App and catalogue.
The technical assistance service will allow remote requests to be managed during telephone calls, without the intervention of a technician on site. The customer can contact a Kiloutou advisor from 5.00am to 10.00pm, five days a week. If a technician is required on site, Kiloutou said it will provide one within four hours, to replace or repair equipment.
One of the three new safety products now being launched by the company comprises exoskeletons or ergoskeletons – produced by Gobio – that provide arm support for workers using power tools. These can help reduce musculoskeletal disorders.
The second innovation is a drone rental service through a cooperation with IVA Drones. These will provide a safe way to undertake inspections or monitor projects.
Finally, it will offer an RFID enabled, high visibility ‘vest’ for workers, which, when linked to an RFID tag in a machine, will give proximity alerts to both the machine operator and the vest wearer. This technology is being offered through a cooperation with specialist company Kare.