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A-Plant results raise expectations

4 Sep 12 Plant and tool hire company A-Plant has seen its revenue and profits rise strongly in the first quarter.

For the three months to 31 July 2012, A-Plant’s revenue was up 8% to £49.7m ( 2011 Q1: £46.1m).

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) were up 14% to £14.4m (2011 Q1: £12.6m) and operating profit was up 30% to £3.0m (2011 Q1: £22.3m).

With a 20% leap in its US revenues and near doubling in operating profits there, parent company Ashtead was able to report record Q1 pre-tax profits of £61m, up 76% at constant exchange rates on group revenue up 21% to £325.0m, prompting the company to raise investors’ expectations.

Ashtead chief executive Geoff Drabble said: "We are delighted with this record performance as we continue to benefit from the trends established in the business over a number of quarters.

“The markets in which we operate have performed as anticipated with gently improving conditions in the US and a more challenging outlook in the UK.  We do not anticipate any significant changes to this environment in the short term.

“Against this back-drop our continued market share gains are again reflected in our strong growth in fleet on rent and improving margins demonstrate our operational efficiency.  Given the momentum established in the business, we now anticipate a full year result materially ahead of our previous expectations."

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