Sunbelt Rentals posted $3,583.7 million in revenue for the full fiscal 2017, compared to $3,276.6 million in fiscal 2016, a 9.4-percent increase. EBITDA grew from $1,583.7 million in fiscal 2016 to $1,768.7 million in fiscal 2017, an 11.7-percent jump. Combined, Sunbelt Rentals and its U.K. sister company A-Plant reported £3,186.8 million (about U.S. $4.06 billion) for the fiscal year compared to $2,545.7 a year ago, a 25.2-percent leap.
The company spent £437 million on bolt-on acquisitions compared to £65 million in the previous year.
“I am delighted to be able to report another very successful year for Ashtead with group rental revenue increasing 28 percent and underlying pre-tax profit increasing to £793 million,” said Geoff Drabble, Ashtead chief executive. “The reported results were impact favorably by weaker sterling, but, with 13 percent growth in group rental revenue at constant exchange rates we have good momentum. Our end markets remain strong and, most importantly, we continue to see structural change as our customers increasingly rely on the flexibility of rental.
“We continue to execute well on our strategy to support these changes through a combination of organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions. We made significant investments in the year, spending £1.1 billion in capital expenditure and £437 million in bolt-on acquisitions. In addition, we spent a further £48 million on share buybacks in line with our capital allocation priorities.”
Drabble said that looking forward, the company’s markets remain good and spring brought a good seasonal uplift in fleet on rent, with record levels of physical utilization for this time of year.
“We expect a similar level of capital expenditure in 2017/18, consistent with our 2021 strategic plan. A number of the investments we made were in the seasonally quieter second half of the year and we incurred one-off costs associated with acquisition and integration. Now that this work is behind us, we anticipate seeing the full benefit of these investments in the coming year.”
Drabble added that with both divisions – Sunbelt and A-Plant – performing well and a strong balance sheet, the board looks to the medium term with confidence.
Sunbelt and A-Plant delivered 14 percent and 15 percent rental-only revenue growth respectively for the fiscal year. Sunbelt Rentals recorded $2.622 billion in rental-only revenue. It added $163 million in revenue from bolt-on acquisitions and greenfield starts.
“The mix of our revenue growth demonstrates the successful execution of our long-term structural growth strategy,” said company officials. “We continue to capitalize on the opportunity presented by our markets with same-store growth of 7 percent and bolt-ons and greenfields contributing another 7 percent growth as we expand our geographic footprint and our specialty businesses. As we embark on our plan for 2021, we have made good progress on new stores with 73 added in North America in the year through greenfields and bolt-ons, almost half of which were specialty locations.”
Sunbelt’s growth was driven by increased fleet on rent, partially offset by yield. Average physical utilization for the year was 71 percent. A-Plant’s rental revenue increased 15 percent year over year. The company’s average fleet age is now 29 months.