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Sat September 19 2020

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A-Plant revenues rise a fifth

10 Dec 14 Plant and tool hire group A-Plant generated an 18% increase in rental revenues in the first half of its financial year and a 70% increase in operating profits.

For the six months to 31st October 2014, A-Plant produced rental revenue of £147m (2013 H1: £124m).

Total first-half revenue for A-Plant was £165.6m, up 20% from £138.2m for the same period last year. Operating profit was £29.7m (2013 H1: £17.4m).

Growth reflects 11% more fleet on rent and a 6% improvement in yield, thanks to both higher rental rates and new product lines.

With US sister company Sunbelt making a £269.9m first-half operating profit on £821.7m revenue (numbers up on last year by 22% and 15% respectively), it was a good six months for parent Ashtead Group, which is now set to outperform previous expectations for the year.

Chief executive Geoff Drabble said: "The group delivered another strong quarter with record underlying pre-tax profits of £266m, up 33% on the prior year.  It was particularly pleasing to see a strong contribution from both Sunbelt and A-Plant.

“We continue to execute on our strategy, focused on organic growth supplemented by bolt-on acquisitions.  We invested £588m in capital expenditure and a further £107m on bolt-on acquisitions in the period.  Given the profitable growth opportunities evident in our markets, we are increasing our full year guidance for capital expenditure to a range of £925m to £975m.

“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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