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Interim Results

Ashtead underlying earnings up 18%

12 September 2017 07:41

Ashtead Group has reported a strong first quarter with rental revenue increasing 25% to £828.8m and underlying pre-tax profit up by 30% to £238m.

Underlying EBITDA rose by 18% to £431.1m.

On a statutory basis, revenues were up 16% at £880.1m and pre-tax profits rose by 19% to £228.9m.

Chief executive Geoff Drabble said: "The reported results were impacted favourably by weaker sterling but, with 17% growth in group rental revenue at constant exchange rates, we have continuing good momentum.

"Our end markets remain strong and a wide range of metrics have shown consistent improvement.

"We continue to execute well on our strategy through a combination of organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions.

"We made significant investments in the quarter, spending £377m on capital expenditure and £116m on bolt-on acquisitions.

"Our strong margins ensured that, despite these levels of investment, we remain comfortably within our target range for net debt to EBITDA of 1.5 to 2 times.

"A successful refinancing has provided us with a low cost, long-term platform for further responsible growth.

"At the end of the quarter both businesses were performing well, in line with expectations and with positive momentum.

"Hurricane season has already generated significant activity which will require a major clean-up effort and then a multi-year rebuild programme. Currently, our efforts are focused on supporting our colleagues, neighbours and customers and we stand ready to provide further assistance.

"It is too early to attempt to quantify the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma accurately on our business.

"However, it is evident that it will result in an increase in demand for our fleet and we will provide an update at the end of Q2.

"Looking forward, as a minimum, we expect that the impact will help to underpin the current market assumptions in our 2021 plan and therefore the Board continues to look to the medium term with confidence."

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