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FTSE 100: Ashtead Group reports 26% rise in revenue in half-year results

UKRAINE - 2019/02/28:  In this photo illustration, the Ashtead Group plc logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Ashtead Group plc. Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty

Ashtead Group reported upbeat half-year results citing a 26% rise in revenue over the past six months and profit before tax increasing by 27% to $1.2bn (£980m).

Half-year highlights for the equipment rental company revealed a rise in group revenue, up 26% to $4.796bn (£3.93m), resulting in an adjusted before-tax profit increase of 27% to $1.2bn (£980m).

The Ashtead Group PLC (AHT.L) also announced that it had added 72 new rental locations in North America, stating that it would continue to grow its market share in the US and Canada.

The US rental revenue of the Group's industrial equipment is up 28% and the report states that the firm's strategic plan, called Sunbelt 3.0, is halfway through and ahead of schedule.

Ashtead Group stated: "Our goal for Sunbelt 3.0 is to add 298 greenfield locations across North America bringing us to a total of 1,234 locations in 2024, while in the UK, the focus is on transforming the business over the 3.0 period to deliver enhanced and sustainable margins and returns. We have already added 88 greenfield locations in North America and a further 35 through bolt-ons, and the UK business is seeing improved performance from operating as a more cohesive unit."

The Group's UK business generated rental-only revenue of £215m, which was up 6% on the previous year and the firm's Canada rental-only revenue increased by 20% to CAD $279m (GBPCAD=X).

In the results statement, Ashtead's chief executive, Brendan Horgan, commented: “We now expect full-year results ahead of our previous expectations and the Board looks to the future with confidence."

He added: "Our business is performing well with clear momentum in robust end markets.”

The FTSE 100-listed company also added that the rental-only revenue growth has been driven by both volume and interest rate improvements despite stern macroeconomic headwinds.

The London-listed company raised its interim dividend by 20%, which was driven by stronger demand for rental equipment across its markets.

After the opening of markets in London, shares in Ashtead Group fell 0.28% today, down 14p to 5,022p.

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