Ashtead Group chief executive Geoff Drabble.

Ashtead Group chief executive Geoff Drabble.

Ashtead Group reported third quarter sales to 31 January 2009 of £252 million (€281 million), up 9% on the £230 million (€257 million) recorded for the same period one year ago. Pre-tax profit for the third quarter fell 41% to £11 million (€12 million), down from £18.7 million (€20.8 million) 12 months earlier.

"As anticipated, market conditions become more difficult in the third quarter," said Geoff Drabble, the Group's chief executive. "Revenues were adversely affected both by volume and yield.

"We continued to benefit from the stronger dollar and our strong market position has also ensured a good relative performance. We anticipate that we will continue to gain market share and our strong cashflow demonstrates our business model's ongoing flexibility through the cycle as we reduce capital expenditure and adjust our cost base to market conditions," said Mr Drabble

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