Ashtead Group, the owner of UK rental company A-Plant and US-based Sunbelt, has recorded a year-on-year increase in its revenues of 13% to £1.44 billion (€1.69 million) for the first half of the 2016-17 financial year.

The company’s operating profit was also up 9% year-on-year for the same period to £474.4 million (€556.34 million).

Geoff Drabble, CEO, Ashtead Group, said the company had benefited from a “clear and consistent” strategy of growth, which had been supplemented by bolt-on acquisitions, including the company's recent acquisition of UK rental company Hewden.

He said, “In the six months, the reported results were positively impacted by weaker sterling, but this was partially offset by the impact of lower gains on fleet disposals as we reduced our replacement capital expenditure.

“I am pleased with the continued improvement in our margins - group EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margin is now a record 49%. These healthy margins and our strong balance sheet provide flexibility to continue to invest in our long-term structural growth opportunity and enhance returns to shareholders.”

Drabble added that the company continued to grow, adhering to the capital allocation priorities it had outlined. He said the company had invested £683 million (€801.65 million) in capital expenditure and a further £142 million (€166.67 million) on bolt-on acquisitions.

He added, “Both divisions continue to perform at the upper end of expectations.

“This, together with the benefit of significantly weaker sterling, means we expect full year results to be ahead of our expectations and the Board continues to look to the medium term with confidence."

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