Sunbelt Rentals posted $2.032 billion in the fiscal second quarter of 2021 compared to $1.754 billion in the fiscal second quarter of 2020, a 15.8-percent increase. Rental revenue did even better, jumping from $1.579 billion in the year ago quarter to $1.876 billion in the recently concluded quarter, an 18.8-percent leap.
For the first six months of the fiscal year, total revenue was $3.884 billion compared to $3.258 billion in the same period of fiscal 2020, a 19.2-percent include. Rental revenue was $3.545 billion compared to $2.931 billion a year ago, a 20.9-percent increase.
EBITDA for the fiscal second quarter was $972 million compared to $860 million, a 13-percent hike. For the six-month period, EBITDA totaled $1.832 billion compared to $1.545 billion in the year-ago period, an 18.6-percent leap.
“The group’s strong performance continues with rental revenue up 20 percent for the half year over the prior year, but more importantly up 14 percent when compared with the first half of 2019/20, both at constant currency,” said chief executive Brendan Horgan. “This market outperformance across the business is only possible through the dedication of our team members who deliver for all our stakeholders every day, while ensuring our leading value of safety remains at the forefront of all we do. Sunbelt 3.0 has been embraced by the business and we are making good progress across all actionable components.
“In the period, we invested $1.2 billion in capital across existing locations and greenfields and $428 million on 10 bolt-on acquisitions, adding a combined total of 58 locations in North America. We have a healthy bolt-on pipeline and have already spent a further $320 million in the third quarter. This investment takes advantage of the ongoing structural growth opportunity that we continue to see in the business as we seek to deliver on our strategic priorities to grow general tool and amplify specialty.”
Horgan said the company has strong momentum in supportive markets. “The benefit we derive from the diversity of our products, services and end markets, our investment in technology and ongoing structural change, enhanced by the environmental and social aspects of ESG, enables the board to look to the future with confidence,” he said. “Notwithstanding the volatility that continues to arise from Covid, the fundamentals of our business are strong, and we now expect full year performance to be ahead of our previous expectations.”
Breaking down the revenue
Revenue in the United States improved to $3,124.1 million compared to $2,746.9 for the six-month period, a 13.7-percent increase. Sunbelt U.K. posted $510.5 million compared to $347.8 million a year ago, a 46.8-percent increase. Sunbelt Canada posted a 52.3-percent hike in U.S. dollars, from $163.7 million to $249.4 million.
In the U.S., Sunbelt’s general tool business grew 13 percent in the first half from the depressed activity level in the previous year, while its specialty business grew 23 percent. While rental revenue growth has been driven by volume, it has benefited from improved rates in what is a better rate environment than Sunbelt has seen in “a number of years.” The company estimated that hurricane efforts contributed about $60 to $65 million of revenue in the second quarter.
Sunbelt’s U.K. business benefited from its essential support to the Department of Health in its COVID-19 response efforts. Its core business is performing strongly and is benefitting from the operational improvements which are ongoing.
Canada’s rental-only revenue increased 47 percent after lockdowns affected Canada more severely than in the U.S. Sunbelt Canada’s lighting, grip and studio business generated minimal revenue in the March to July timeframe as most film and television production activities ceased.
Sunbelt invested $428 million in 10 bolt-on acquisitions during the half year period and since the period’s end, it has invested an additional $320 million in bolt-on acquisitions.
The company has raised its guidance for the business in the U.S. Its previous forecast was for a 13- to 16-percent revenue increase, but the company has raised that expectation to a range of 18 to 20 percent.
The company, under the corporate banner of Ashtead plc in the U.K., has its headquarters in London, while its U.S. headquarters is in Fort Mill, S.C.