France-based rental company Kiloutou saw out a strong second half of 2016 to record a revenues increase of 15% year-on-year.

Kiloutou’s revenues were €532 million in 2016 – a year which saw the company enter the German market with the acquisition of aerial work platform rental specialist Starlift, as well as acquiring Spain’s Alvecon.

Excluding acquisitions, the company’s revenues grew 5% on a like-for-like basis, and its EBITDA also grew compared to the previous year. Kiloutou said it would not reveal its EBITDA figure and, while it said it was positive, stressed it hoped it would grow further.

Speaking to IRN, Kiloutou CEO Xavier du Boÿs, said, “The ambition was to go higher with our profit, but the French market made it difficult. The market was slightly better in 2016 compared to 2015, but it is still suffering. The market was down for three consecutive years before 2016, which is the first time in its history it was down for three straight years.

“We were expecting the market to improve a few years ago, but it didn’t. Around May or June last year, it suddenly improved, and that helped us. The team has done a very good job and we expect even better results this year.”

Mr du Boÿs said that the French elections – which will be held on 23 April this year – could have an impact on the French construction market. He said it was hard to judge which way it would go, given the surprise of Brexit (the UK’s decision to leave the European Union) and Donald Trump’s success in the US presidential elections last year.

Mr du Boÿs added that France was in need of construction work, saying that there was a lack of housing in the country, and that road surfaces were poor.

Kiloutou, along with the rest of the rental world, will have watched the Lavendon buyout saga closely, which saw France’s Loxam acquire the company in a deal worth €538.67 million. While Loxam now has plans for global expansion, Mr du Boÿs said Kiloutou was not worried about the company’s ambitions.

He said, “It’s good to have competition. I don’t know about Loxam’s strategy, but our strategy is, and always will be, to acquire, invest and develop. When we make acquisitions, we always want to invest and develop it, to make sure it is successful. I have no problem with Loxam growing.”

“We will be looking to make acquisitions this year. We cannot comment on these possible deals at the moment, but we are looking both in France and other countries, including countries which we don’t currently operate in.”

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