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Ashtead profits soar by over £100 million

Ashtead said its half-year profits shot up by over £100 million from last year.

The plant and equipment hire company posted a £76 million pretax profit for the six months to October 31, on turnover of £524 million, compared to a £30 million loss last year.

It said both American division Sunbelt and British subsidiary A-Plant had seen high margins, with A-Plant’s operating profit rising 41 per cent to £16.5 million.

Ashtead's Chief Executive, Geoff Drabble, said: “In the UK the work we have undertaken to reposition A-Plant has led to a significant improvement in its performance and with its increasing prominence in the market I see this improvement continuing.”