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Sat September 25 2021

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A-Plant feels margin squeeze

19 Jun 18 Plant and tool hire giant A-Plant has seen its operating profit margin eroded from 17.1% to 14.9% in the past year.

In the year ended 30th April 2018, A-Plant grew revenue by 13% to £471.7m (2017: £418.2m) but operating profit dipped a couple of points to £70.2m (2017: £71.6m). This was attributed to the integration of acquired businesses as well as pressure on hire rates.

Parent company Ashtead Group, which has substantial operations in North America with Sunbelt, posted pre-tax profit for the year of £862.1m (2017: £765.1m), a rise of 16%, on revenue up 20% to £3,706m (2017: £3,187m).

A-Plant’s acquisitions in the UK during the year included Plantfinder, an aerial work platform rental business,for £24m, and Chanton, a survey equipment business, for £1m.

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