Loxam’s total revenues increased by 8% in 2018, reaching €1.48 billion.
Europe’s largest rental company described 2018 as a ”very satisfactory year”, but added that sales in the Middle East had declined in the final quarter and further reported a “challenging” competitive situation in both the Middle East and the UK during the year.
Full-year EBITDA profits (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) were €501 million, representing a margin of 34%, which was an 8% rise on 2017.
Revenues at its General division in France rose by 5.8% to €659 million, while its Specialist business in France division increased revenues by 6% to €226 million.
Its international business saw a rise of 12.4% on the previous year, reaching €598 million. However, this was impacted by the UK and the Middle East, where the competitive environment was said to be challenging.
During the fourth quarter of 2018, its international division saw a 1.3% fall in revenues, at constant exchange rates, because of a slowdown in its Middle East business. This largely comprises the Rapid Access operation acquired through the Lavendon deal. Total group revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018 grew by 5%.
The company said its EBITDA result was impacted by lower capital gains, resulting from a lower volume of used machines sales. During the fourth quarter, EBITDA decreased by 4.7%.
Gross capital expenditure decreased from €433 million in 2017 to €413 million in 2018, and Loxam said it was expecting a lower level of capital expenditure this year.
Gérard Déprez, Chairman and CEO of Loxam, said, “2018 was a very satisfactory year for Loxam, since we benefitted from sound organic growth throughout the year and succeeded in increasing our operational profitability. This performance was achieved in the context of a positive construction environment, which fuelled a solid demand for equipment rental services.
“An important achievement of the year was the operational integration of Lavendon and Hune into the group. Besides, the growth of our EBITDA has enabled us to show a deleveraging, while keeping an appropriate level of fleet capex, in line with market demand.”
Déprez added, “In 2019, we anticipate that the economic and construction environment will remain favourable for the group.” The only exception to this is the Middle East.
On 14 January, 2019, Loxam completed the acquisition of access specialist UK Platforms from HSS Hire Group. UK Platforms operates a fleet of about 3,000 powered access units, so has strengthened Loxam’s position in the UK’s powered access market.