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Aggreko expects profit to beat £190m market forecast

Plant hire firm Aggreko said today that its full year profit will be slightly ahead of market expectations of £190 million.

In a trading update today Aggreko said it that while it was confident about the first half of 2009, it would still be taking a cautious stance.

The company, which rents out generators, air conditioners and cooling towers said it is confident its international power operations will offset any weakness from its North American and European businesses in 2009.

Chief executive Rupert Soames said: “We can't look at the world economy and not say it's not going to affect us.”

“We are cautious on the outlook, but reasonably confident for the first half.”

Aggreko indicated in March 2008, that it planned to spend an average of £200 million a year on fleet capital expenditure between 2008 and 2012.

Bosses said that in 2008, the company will spend about £260 million, and the current plan is to invest around £170 million in 2009, a level similar to 2007.

The company anticipates that net debt at 31 December will be around £340 million, against committed facilities of £506 million - £157 million of these facilities are due to be refinanced in September 2009.

Aggreko said discussions concerning the re-financing are proceeding well and, having added £60 million to the company’s facilities in recent months, bosses are confident that arrangements will be completed in the first half.