Pre-tax profit soars at Ashtead in half yearly results

Equipment rental group Ashtead unveiled strong first half yearly results on Tuesday morning, revealing pre-tax profit had risen by 64 per cent to 140.7m pounds compared to 84.4m pounds in the corresponding period last year.

Equipment rental group Ashtead unveiled strong first half yearly results on Tuesday morning, revealing pre-tax profit had risen by 64 per cent to 140.7m pounds compared to 84.4m pounds in the corresponding period last year.

The group, which has a market capitalisation of £2,161m and is listed on the FTSE 250, stated that revenue had risen by 17% in the first half of the year 2012 and forecasted that its profit for the full year would exceed earlier predictions.

Geoff Drabble, Chief Executive Officer at Ashtead, commented: "It is pleasing to report another quarter where strong revenue growth and ongoing operational efficiency have delivered record first half pre-tax profits of £141m. With this momentum clearly established in the business we now anticipate a full year profit ahead of our earlier expectations.

"Beyond the current financial year we remain well-placed to see growth over the medium term from either continued structural change or end market recovery. We are also generating high margins which, together with our much larger and younger fleet, results in an ability to fund significant growth whilst continuing to reduce leverage. Therefore, we expect net debt to EBITDA leverage to be sustained below two times."

He added: "With a broad range of metrics already at record levels at this stage in the cycle, together with a strong balance sheet to support medium term growth opportunities, the Board looks forward with confidence."

MF

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