Sunbelt Rentals Performance Lifts Ashtead Group 2011 Results

Sunbelt's rental revenue rises 10% in fiscal 2011, operating profit is up 39% to $162 million

Fiscal 2011 Highlights

  • Group pre-tax profits of US$50 million (2010: $8 million)
  • Sunbelt's rental revenue up 10%; operating profit up 39% to $162 million (2010: $117 million)
  • A-Plant's rental revenue up 1% with operating profit of $4.4 million (2010: $2.9 million)
  • Capital expenditure increased to $365 million (2010: $102 million); $527 million planned for 2011/12
  • Balance sheet remains strong and our debt well structured with five year average maturities, net debt of $1.26 billion (30 April 2010: $1.34 billion) and leverage of 2.7 times EBITDA (2010: 3.2 times)

"We enjoyed an encouraging year where our focus on gaining market share and improving yields resulted in strong growth in Group profits," said Ashtead Chief Executive Geoff Drabble.

"The performance of Sunbelt in the U.S. was particularly pleasing with good momentum established that has carried into the new financial year with sustainable improvements in both fleet on rent and yield," added Drabble. "Against a backdrop of still challenging end construction markets we are clearly benefitting from both the structural change in the U.S. rental market and self help from the programmes we initiated during the downturn. In the U.K., performance also improved in the second half and we delivered year-on-year profit growth.

Looking forward we remain cautious over the outlook for end construction markets in the short term, particularly in the U.K. However, we continue to benefit from the structural shift to rental, market share gains and the improvements we have established in all key areas of our business. Together with our balance sheet strength and strong market positions, this makes us confident of another year of good progress."

(More on Ashtead annual results . . . )