Rental revenues up at United

By Steve Ducker27 April 2015

Michael Kneeland CEO of United Rentals.

Michael Kneeland CEO of United Rentals.

The USA's United Rentals posted an 11.9% rise in year on year rental revenue in its financial results for the first quarter of 2015.

Rental revenue totalled $1.178 billion (€1.082 billion) compared to $1.005 (€923 billion) for the same period in 2014. Overall revenue was $1.315 billion (€1.208 billion), an increase of $190 billion (€174.5 billion), and net income for the quarter was $115 million (€105.6 million).

Within rental revenue owned equipment rental revenue increased by 12%, reflecting year on year increases of 8.1% in the volume of equipment on rent and 2.9% on rental rates.

Meanwhile, return on capital employed reached 9% for the 12 months to 31 December 2014, an increase of 1.2 percentage points.

Michael Kneeland, chief executive officer of United Rentals, said, “We turned in a solid first quarter, with record revenue, EBITDA and return on invested capital. The year has had some early headwinds, including a decline in upstream oil and gas activity, a harsh winter, and the adverse currency impact of a strong US dollar.

"We've offset these pressures by redistributing underutilised fleet to areas of higher demand. An improving rental landscape, and the strong performance of our power and trench specialty lines, helped drive our 12% increase in rental revenue.”

Mr Kneeland also said the company planned to open around 18 speciality rental branches during the year.

Despite this, the company’s financial outlook for the rest of 2015 has been slightly revised, with maximum revenue down from $6.2 billion (€5.7 billion) in the prior outlook to $6.1 billion (€5.6 billion), maximum EBITDA reduced from $3.05 billion (€2.8 billion) to $3 billion (€2.76 billion), and the rental rate increase readjusted from 3.5% to 3%.

Time utilisation and net rental capital expenditure after gross purchases were unchanged.

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