Ashtead thanks recovering construction markets for record profits

Billy Ehrenberg
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Ashstead's pre-tax profit jumped by per 33 per cent to reach £120m for the three months to 31 July (Source: Getty)

As the housebuilders surf the wave of rising house prices, so too does Ashstead, supplier of construction tools.

The company, which rents plant machinery and other tools to the construction industry, released its first quarter results today, showing record rises in pre-tax profits and revenue, enough to encourage an upward adjustment of expected full-year results.

Profit before tax jumped by 33 per cent to reach £120m for the three months to 31 July, while statutory revenue was up 21 per cent to £457m.

Ashstead pretax profit by financial year (ending). Source: Investegate.

The main driving force behind the jumps, according to chief executive Geoff Drabble, is the recovering markets, and there was strong growth in the company's US and UK arms, named Sunbelt and A-Plant respectively.

Drabble said:

We are pleased to report another strong quarter as we continue to capitalise on recovering markets and take further market share in both Sunbelt and A-Plant. Sunbelt delivered 22 per cent rental revenue growth and A-Plant 19 per cent which, together with a focus on operational efficiency, helped to deliver record underlying pre-tax profits of £120m.

Ashstead's share price was up 2.99 per cent in early trading.

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