Ashtead Group confident after strong 2013

By Helen Wright17 June 2014

UK-headquartered rental company Ashtead Group has reported year-on-year growth in rental revenues and profit for 2013, fuelled by recovering markets in the UK and US.

Rental revenues stood at £1.48 billion (€1.85 billion) for the 12 months to 30 April, 2013 – growth of 24% compared to the same 12 months in fiscal 2013. Gross profit jumped 50% year-on-year to £362 million (€453 million).

The company’s UK-based A-Plant business and US-based Sunbelt both performed well. A-Plant’s rental revenues for 2013 were up 33% year-on-year to £244 million (€306 million), including revenues from its acquisition of Eve Trakway.

Ashtead said A-Plant had 21% more fleet on rent, and reported a 9% improvement in yield, thanks to an improved products mix. Fleet usage increased to 72%, from 69% last year.

Sunbelt, meanwhile, reported rental revenues of US$1.97 billion (€1.45 billion) – up from US$1.61 billion (€1.19 billion) for the 12 months to 30 April, 2013.

Ashtead said Sunbelt's fleet on rent was up 17% year-on-year, with a 4% improvement in yield. Fleet usage remained constant at 71%.

Ashtead chief executive Geoff Drabble said 2013 had been a very successful year for the company.

“Our performance reflects the benefits of the consistent execution of our strategy focussed largely on organic growth, supplemented by greenfield openings and bolt-on acquisitions,” Mr Drabble commented.

“We invested £741 million (€928 million) in our rental fleet and a further £103 million (€129 million) on acquisitions during the year,” he said, adding that the company expected fleet growth in the coming year in the low-to mid-teens percent range.

And Mr Drabble said Ashtead would continue to open greenfields and make bolt-on acquisitions to further grow its market share and profitability.

“Current planning suggests around 50 new locations in the new financial year, another measured step towards our medium term objective of 600 locations,” he said.

“With both divisions performing well and beginning to enjoy recovering markets, we are well positioned for further growth and the Board looks forward to the medium term with continued confidence."

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