FTSE 100: Ashtead Group revenue jumps 25% to $2.25bn

Indianapolis - Circa September 2021: Sunbelt Rentals location. Sunbelt Rentals provides rented construction equipment and is a subsidiary of the Ashtead Group.
Ashtead Group trades as Sunbelt Rentals in the UK and North America. Photo: PA

FTSE 100 industrial equipment hire Ashtead Group (AHT.L) reported a revenue increase of 25% to $2.25bn (£1.84bn) in the three months to the end of July, ahead of analysts’ expectations.

Ashtead said that for the quarter ended July 31, pre-tax profit was $526.8m compared with $415.8m for the first quarter of fiscal 2022.

Stripping out exceptional and other one-off items, underlying pre-tax profit was $554.7m compared with $436.5m the year before.

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Revenues were up 25% in the first quarter at $2.25bn, with rental revenues improving 26% to $2.07bn, while operating profits increased 26% to $594m and underlying earnings improved 22% to $1.03bn.

Despite the positive results, the company's share price tumbled as investors digested warnings about rising costs. Shares were down 3.2% at 4,170.00 pence each on Tuesday morning in London.

Despite the group's improved quarterly performance, Ashtead warned that its strong showing had been offset by heightened interest costs and said it expects full-year adjusted pre-tax profits to be in line with previous expectations.

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"We are in a position of strength and have the experience to navigate the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities arising from the market circumstances we face, including supply chain constraints, inflation, labour scarcity and economic uncertainty, all factors which we are convinced are drivers of ongoing structural change," chief executive Brendan Horgan said.

Looking ahead, the London-listed industrial-equipment rental company said it has "clear momentum in supportive end markets".

The business, which trades as Sunbelt Rentals in the UK and North America, invested $669m of capital back into the business during the period, up from $551m a year earlier.

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