Ashtead's profit up as Sunbelt sees 'structural change' to rental

By Maria Hadlow07 September 2011

Ashtead's first quarter results (three months ending July31) show pretax profits up 211% (£34 million) over the same period in 2010. Higher than the whole year's profit to April 30 2011 (£31 million).

Turnover has increased 12% to £268.6 million with Sunbelt's revenue up 20% and A-Plant's up 12%.

Ashtead's chief executive, Geoff Drabble, said, "Our end construction markets continue to behave in line with our expectations and now appear to be broadly flattening after two years of significant decline.

"Against this backdrop, the 21% rental revenue and 67% profit growth achieved at Sunbelt show that we are clearly benefitting from the ongoing structural change in the US rental market. Sunbelt has also now delivered 15 consecutive months of year on year rental revenue growth. These structural trends are likely to continue with further increases in rental penetration and Sunbelt's market share expected.

"Together with our ongoing improvement in both yield and operational efficiency, these trends resulted in a very strong quarter with pre-tax profits of £34m. August's US rental revenues continued this pattern with growth of 25%. As a result, the Board now anticipates a full year result substantially ahead of its previous expectations."

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