Sunbelt rental revenue increased 23 percent in the quarter ended April 30, 2013; a result of having 18 percent more fleet on rent and a 6 percent yield improvement over 12 months.
UK parent Ashtead's British equipment-rental operation, A-Plant, also experienced strong revenue growth of 11 percent due to increased fleet on rent and stable yields.
For the year, Ashtead Group revenue increased 20 percent to £1.4 billion (about $2.1 billion). Revenue growth, combined with ongoing operational efficiency and lower financing costs generated record underlying profit before tax of £247 million ($380 million). Exchange rate fluctuations did not have a significant effect on year-on-year comparisons.
Sunbelt continues to drive the Group’s performance. Rental revenue grew 21 percent to $1,611 million driven by a 13 percent increase in average fleet on rent and 7 percent improvement in yield. Sunbelt’s total revenue, including new and used equipment, merchandise and consumable sales, also grew 21 percent to $1,820 million.
In difficult market conditions, A-Plant performed well and delivered rental revenue growth of 9 percent. This was due to 11 percent more fleet on rent, which was partially offset by a 2 percent yield decline.
Sunbelt’s strong revenue growth, combined with continued focus on operational efficiency, resulted in a 67 percent drop-through to profit. As a result, it recorded a record EBITDA margin of 41 percent. Sunbelt’s operating profit of $453 million was 56 percent greater than the year-ago level, and represented a company record.
A-Plant’s EBITDA margin rose a couple of percentage points to 28 percent, lifting operating profit to £12 million.