Ashtead Group has reported a strong first half to its 2015 financial year.

The company, incorporating USA-based Sunbelt and UK-based A-Plant, said revenue increased 28% to £1.267 billion in the first half, with strong growth in both businesses. The result was a record underlying profit before tax of £343 million, up 21%, or £266 million, from the same period in 2014.

Breaking down the results for the two companies, Sunbelt reported first half revenue of £1.089 billion, up from £821.7 million in same period last year. While EBITA rose from £400.4 million in the first half of 2014, to £821.7 million this year. Operating profit was £353.8 million, up from £269.9 million.

A-Plant also showed good growth with its revenue of £178.3 million for the half year, rising from 165.6 million in the same period in 2014. EBITA stood at £68.9 million, up from £60.1 million and operating profit was a healthy £35 million, compared to £29.7 million in the same period last year.

Ashtead’s chief executive, Geoff Drabble, commented, “We continue to execute on our strategy to diversify the markets we serve, both in terms of geography and sector. Sunbelt’s 22% rental only revenue growth demonstrates clearly the benefits of this strategy and the overall health of our broader markets.

"We invested £696 million in capital expenditure and opened 38 new locations in the US. Given the profitable growth opportunities evident in our markets, we are increasing our full year guidance for capital expenditure to £1.1 billion."


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