Lavendon gains on strong outlook

Rental-equipment firm Lavendon Group saw its shares close up almost five per cent yesterday after it said its performance improved in the first-half and that it sees year results above prior expectations. The firm also announced that it would exit its Spanish operations, which have been hurt by a weak long-term outlook in the country. Lavendon, which rebuffed several takeover offers earlier in the year, expects to incur a charge of £5m during the second half of 2011. For the January-June period, the company's overall revenue grew eight per cent, excluding ex-fleet equipment sales, compared with £106m last year. Year-on-year revenue growth in the UK, which makes up half of its business, gained 11 per cent in the quarter.