Positive three quarters for Ashtead

By Euan Youdale15 March 2017

Ashtead Group has reported a strong three quarters in its 2016/2017 financial year.

Group revenue for the nine months, ending 31 January, was UK£2,356 million, up 10% from £1,880 million in the same three-quarter period in 2015/2016. Total rental revenue was up 13% at £2,174.

While, the group’s nine month underlying pre-tax profit was £605m, a 9% increase on the same period in 2016, while EBITDA was 1,124, reflecting a 13% rise.

Ashtead's chief executive, Geoff Drabble, commented, “The group continues to perform well and delivered a strong quarter.  In the nine months, the reported results were positively impacted by weaker sterling (£82m). The underlying performance of the business continues to benefit from a clear and consistent strategy of organic growth supplemented by bolt-on acquisitions.

Breaking the results down by division, US-based Sunbelt saw its revenue rise 9% to £2,690 million from £2,468 million. Of that figure, pure rental was up 13% at £2,490 million, from £2,205 million. EBITDA was £1,342 million reflecting a rise of 13% from 1,190 million.

A-Plant, the company’s UK-based concern, saw revenue rise to £302 million, compared to £264 million in 2016, up 14%, of which pure rental was £272 million, compared to £232 million, up 17%. EBITDA increased by 12% to £110 million, from £99 million.

Mr Drabble said the group invested £812 million in capital expenditure and a further £196 million on bolt-on acquisitions. “With the continuing opportunity for profitable growth, we expect capital expenditure this year to be towards the upper end of our guidance - £1.2 billion).

Concerning growth guidance for 2017/18, he added, “This is consistent with the strategic plan we recently outlined to the market which anticipates circa double-digit growth in the US through to 2021. Our end markets remain supportive and we continue to benefit from ongoing structural change as our customers increasingly rely on the flexibility of rental.

“Both divisions continue to perform well. Accordingly, we expect full year results to be in line with our expectations and the Board continues to look to the medium term with confidence.”

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