Ashtead soars as it reaps the rewards of American recovery

 
Suzie Neuwirth
EQUIPMENT rental firm Ashtead soared to the top of the FTSE 100 yesterday, after it unveiled a 54 per cent rise in third-quarter profit and lifted its full-year guidance.

The company, which makes 85 per cent of revenues from its US division Sunbelt, reported pre-tax profit of £80.4m, with revenue up 22 per cent to £400.1m. It said it now expects full-year profit to be ahead of its previous forecasts.

“We’ve had three good years,” chief executive Geoff Drabble told City A.M. “We’re benefiting from the continued US recovery, while the UK business is tougher but still performing well.” Last year Ashtead made a number of bolt-on acquisitions. Drabble said the firm would consider a larger deal, but “it depends on what’s available.”