Northgate races forward with 22 per cent pre-tax profit jump

VAN rental company Northgate yesterday announced that it had beat market estimates with a 22 per cent rise in full-year profit as a result of more businesses leasing its vans in Spain and the UK.

While revenue from vehicle hires in the UK grew marginally and those in Spain fell slightly, Northgate said the number of vehicles rented annually in both these markets grew for the first time after four straight years of decline.

The company, which provides vehicle monitoring and automotive part procurement services, said underlying pre-tax profit rose to £60.3m in the year ended 30 April, from £49.5m a year earlier.

Revenue fell 6.3 per cent to £571.5m, as more people chose to rent across its market,s allowing the company to sell fewer vehicles.

Northgate, which also rents out light commercial vehicles under flexible contracts to retailers, engineering and distribution companies, said it continued to trade in line with its expectations.

The company, whose UK revenue was boosted by the four new sites it opened in London during the year, said it intended to open four more sites across the city by the end of October.

Shares in the Darlington-based firm rose by 1.69 per cent to close at 510p.

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