Strong first half at Ashtead

By Helen Wright10 December 2014

UK-headquartered rental company Ashtead Group, the parent of Sunbelt and A-Plant, has said it forecast full-year results to exceed its previous expectations after reporting a strong first half.

The company said underlying rental revenues for the six months ended 31 October, 2014, were up 24% year-on-year to £896 million (€1.13 billion), while underlying operating profit jumped 34% to £295 million (€373 million).

UK-based A-Plant reported half-year revenues of £166 million (€210 million), compared to £138 million (€175 million) a year ago, while Sunbelt saw revenues increase to £822 million (€1.04 billion) from £712 million (€901 million) in the first six months of 2013.

Ashtead said it invested £588 million (€744 million) in its business in the first half, compared to £451 million (€571 million) for the same period last year.

Chief executive Geoff Drabble said, “Given the profitable growth opportunities evident in our markets, we are increasing our full year guidance for capital expenditure to a range of £925 million (€1.17 billion) to £975 million (€1.23 billion).

“Even with these significant levels of investment, we continue to grow responsibly, generating strong returns and maintaining leverage within our stated objectives.

“With both divisions performing well, recovering end markets, and a proven track record of market share gains, we now anticipate a full year result ahead of our previous expectations.”

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