Sunbelt Rentals posted $2,689.9 million in the first nine months of its fiscal year, ended Jan. 31, compared to $2,468 million for the same period a year ago, a 9-percent jump. EBITDA increased from $1,190.3 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2016 to $1,342.1 million in the recently concluded period, a 12.7-percent leap. Operating profit soared from $770.9 million to $840.5 million.
The Ashtead Group, including U.K.-based A-Plant totaled £2,356.2 million (about U.S. $2.94 billion), compared to £1,879.7 million a year ago, a 25.3-percent jump.
“The Group continues to perform well and delivered a strong quarter with reported rental revenue increasing 30 percent (13 percent at constant exchange rates) for the nine months and underlying pre-tax profit of £605 million,” said Geoff Drabble, Ashtead chief executive. “In the nine months, the reported results were positively impacted by weaker sterling. The underlying performance of the business continues to benefit from a clear and consistent strategy of organic growth supplemented by bolt-on acquisitions.
“We continue to grow responsibly, adhering to the capital allocation priorities we have outlined. We invested £812 million by way of capital expenditure and a further £196 million on bolt-on acquisitions. With the continuing opportunity for profitable growth, we expect capital expenditure this year to be towards the upper end of our guidance. Our end markets remain supportive and we continue to benefit from ongoing structural change as our customers increasingly rely on the flexibility of rental.”
Sunbelt delivered 14 percent rental-only revenue growth, and A-Plant 16 percent. Same store growth – from stores in existence as of May 1, 2015 -- for Sunbelt Rentals improved 7 percent totaling $122 million. Sunbelt’s growth has been driven by increased fleet on rent. Bolt-ons and greenfields since that date brought in $126 million. Fiscal 2017 rental-only revenue for Sunbelt has been $1,993 million.
Sunbelt has added 58 stores in the nine month period through greenfields and bolt-ons, almost half of which were specialty locations.
For the full year the company expects gross capital expenditure of around £1.2 billion (about U.S. $1.5 billion).
Sunbelt Rentals, based in Fort Mill, S.C., is No. 2 on the RER 100. Parent company Ashtead plc is headquartered in London.