Andrews Sykes diversifies as revenues remain steady

By Murray Pollok29 September 2010

Andrews Sykes has added 500 kW fluid chillers to its UK rental fleet.

Andrews Sykes has added 500 kW fluid chillers to its UK rental fleet.

Andrews Sykes's rental revenues were unchanged at £22.5 million for the half year to 3900 June, although overall operating profits rose by 3.1% to £6.8 million.

The UK-based company - which rents heating and cooling equipment and pumps in the UK, Benelux and the United Arab Emirates - said the benefits of a long, cold end to the 2009 winter were offset by a drier than usual second quarter of 2010, which impacts on the demand for pumps.

Trading in the Middle East, which typically represents around 20% of revenues, was "difficult" throughout the six month period, with debt collection and cost control the main focus.

The company said the outlook for its important air conditioning business was for a "satisfactory performance", while the UK pumping division was affected by dry weather in the summer and a lack of construction activity, which made trading difficult. It said business in the Middle East, where it has operations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, would continue to be difficult for the remainder of 2010.

In response to the downturn in construction and its reliance on weather dependent products, the company has been investing in more specialist equipment. For example, it has recently added 500 kW fluid chillers to its Andrews Chiller Hire fleet. These units can be used on applications including industrial processes and temporary ice rinks.

In the Middle East it has been adding specialist high head pumps to its fleet for process, oil, gas and water applications, to augment the standard construction dewatering pumps that have been most affected by the downturn.

The company has also recently appointed Ian Atkinson, a former sales executive at Hyster, Linde and Barford, who will be responsible for international business development.

Andrews Sykes said Mr Atkinson will "implement a new international growth strategy to further diversify geographical demand of the business...Initially, Ian will focus his efforts on renewing local support and business development activities for the existing international distributor network. He will also appoint new distributors to boost further our business in core regions such as MEAF [Middle East and Africa]."

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