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Ashtead sees profits climb

Pre-tax profits have nearly trebled at plant firm Ashtead, reaching £84 million in the first half of the year.

The company’s half year results to 31 October show that pre-tax profit rose by 197 per cent to reach £84 million, compared with £30 million in the same period last year.

Similarly profit for the second quarter rose to £50.6m up from £18.1m in the second quarter of 2010. The firm operates in the US and the UK.

Revenue for the half year was £575m, up from £484m in the same period last year, an increase of 25 per cent.

In the UK, Ashtead subsidiary A-Plant’s first half rental revenue grew by 11 per cent to £86m up from £77m in the same period last year.

Ashtead’s chief executive, Geoff Drabble said: “The on-going structural shift to rental in the US and operational efficiency meant we delivered a very strong performance across a broad range of metrics despite end construction markets being at a cyclical low point.  This is encouraging for both the short-term, where we expect a continuation of current trends, and the longer term where, when cyclical recovery comes, we expect to benefit significantly.

 “With our robust debt structure, substantial capacity to fund fleet growth and the well-established momentum in the business we now anticipate a full year profit substantially ahead of our earlier expectations.”

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