Spanish rental company HUNE (formerly Euroloc) has ambitious growth plans for 2008 despite having made three major acquisitions during 2007. The company aims to open 25 greenfield depots this year and invest €125 million in expanding its fleet.

Juan Dionis, HUNE's managing director, told IRN that the integration of the acquisitions - aerial platform renters UMESA and Nacanco being the biggest - was going extremely well and that the company had the management capacity to continue its rapid growth; "We will end up with 90 depots between the two divisions [general equipment and aerial platforms]. We have a very ambitious growth plan for 2008." The company had 65 locations at the end of 2007.

Of the 25 new depots, around 15 will be for the aerial platform division and ten for the general rental business. Approximately €75 million of the fleet investment will be used to add several thousand units to its existing aerial platform fleet of around 9000 machines.

Mr Dionis said the acquisitions of UMESA and Nacano had diversified its customer base and reduced its exposure to the slowing Spanish residential market; "We are pretty convinced that the acquisitions reduce our exposure to the residential sector, and also gives us a new customer portfolio."

HUNE does not anticipate a wider recession in the Spanish construction market, said Mr Dionis; "It is not our view. There are a lot of ambitious plans for national and local government investment in civil works. We believe this will compensate for the residential slowdown."

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