Ashtead Group has said it is on track to open 50 locations across the USA and grow its fleet by a percentage in the “mid to high teens”.

The group, which comprises Sunbelt Rentals in the US and A-Plant in the UK, reported a 25% year on year rise in operating profit for the first quarter of its 2015/16 financial year, to £180 million (€244 million). Capital expenditure during the quarter was £349 million (€474 million) compared to £284 million (€385 million) last year.

Ashtead told investors: “The majority of our markets are very strong with good long-term prospects”, adding that it expected “multi-year growth from strong end markets” and that the impact of oil and gas on the group had been “overstated”.

The company also said that the strong trends seen in the first quarter had continued in August, so the outlook for the rest of year is good.

Looking ahead, Ashtead said: “We remain committed to organic growth and small bolt-ons as we continue to execute our strategy and take market share. We continue to grow responsibly.

“We expect full year results to be in line with our expectations and the board looks forward to the medium term with confidence.

Rental revenues for the three months to 31 July increased by 20% to £540 million (€733 million) compared to £418 million (€567 million) in 2014, within overall group revenues of £619 million (€840 million).

Sunbelt’s rental revenue was up 23% and A-Plant’s 7%, while both businesses increased operating profit by more than 20%.

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