New demand for equipment hire helps to narrow Ashtead losses

INDUSTRIAL equipment hire company Ashtead narrowed its third-quarter losses yesterday as wary contractors chose to rent rather than to buy equipment.

The FTSE 250 company, which hires out equipment from diggers to small tools, posted a pre-tax loss of £1.7m for the three months to the end of January, compared to a £12m loss in the same period in 2010.

“It is now likely that the full-year outcome will exceed our earlier expectations,”?said chief executive Geoff Drabble.