US-based rental company H&E Equipment has reported a stable first half, with rental revenues of US$211 million (€190 million) for the six months to the end of June, compared to US$210 million (€189 million) for the first half of 2015.

Net income stood at US$13 million (€11.7 million) for the first half, down from US$17.6 million (€15.6 million) for the same six months a year ago.

CEO John Engquist said, “The overall non-residential construction industry remains healthy and demand for rental equipment remains solid.

“Unfortunately, the heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding in South Texas and Louisiana was a major headwind during the second quarter, having a significant impact on the demand for earthmoving equipment.

“Despite the weather challenges, our utilisation based on OEC for the second quarter was 70.1%, down just 20 basis points from a year ago as a result of higher demand for aerial work platforms. As we expected, rental rates declined slightly from a year ago and our distribution business continued to be negatively impacted by weak crane demand as a result of the ongoing weakness in the oil and gas markets.”

Mr Engquist added, “From a mid-year perspective, demand in our non-residential construction markets remains favourable across our entire footprint.

“Despite the significantly lower number of energy and chemical related project starts compared to last year, activity in our Gulf Coast industrial markets is positive with ongoing maintenance work on existing plants and new projects.

“Texas remains a strong market with new projects unrelated to the oil patch, including new warehouses and distribution centres, infrastructure and industrial projects, and new office buildings to support the state’s strong, recent employment growth.”

H&E Equipment operates 76 full-service facilities throughout the West Coast, Intermountain, Southwest, Gulf Coast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the US. As of 30 June, 2016, its rental fleet consisted of 28185 units.

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