Temporary power provide Aggreko has described its 2014 trading performance as “solid”, despite a 13% drop in pre-tax profits year on year.
The company produced a pre-tax profit of £289 million (€401 million) for the 12 months ending 31 December 2014, compared to £333 million (€462 million) a year earlier. Group revenues were reported as £1.58 billion (€2.19 billion), an increase of £4 million (€5.6 million) on 2013.
It reported strong growth in the Americas and a good performance in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), but described conditions in Asia Pacific as “challenging”, largely due to conditions in the mining sector.
Chief executive officer Chris Weston, who took over at the start of 2015, added: “I plan to spend the next few months getting to know the business better and I look forward to coming back at our next interim results in August to share my views on the priorities for the group in the next phase of our growth.
“At this early stage in the year, we are encouraged by the group’s performance. Whilst incremental mobilisation costs will impact first half results, overall for 2015 we expect underlying trading profit to be broadly in line with last year.”
Chairman Ken Hanna added: “The group has delivered a solid trading performance in 2014, admirably handling the change in senior management and difficult operating conditions in a number of our markets.”
Underlying figures, adjusted for currency movements and pass through fuel revenues, were healthy in both the Americas and EMEA.
American markets showed underlying revenue up 19% and underlying profit growth of 17%. This included a 12% increase in local business, with rental revenue up 9%. The positive outcome for rental was primarily the result of a 12% increase in revenue from the power rental sector.
There was a similar story in EMEA, where an overall 14% rise in rental revenue was supported by a 16% growth in power rental and a steady 2% in temperature control.
In specific EMEA markets, the company said that there was a good performance in Belgium - driven by industrial customers’ fears of power shortages - and Spain. The UK and Germany were described as solid, but the weakness of the French and Italian economies continued to affect those markets.
Successful power supply projects included the Commonwealth Games in Scotland during the summer of 2014, where Aggreko supplied 27MW of temporary power. Aggreko has also signed a contract to supply power to the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, this June.