Sunbelt Rentals, North America’s second largest equipment rental company, posted $638.4 million in revenue during its fiscal first quarter, a 21.3-percent increase compared to $526.3 million for the same period a year ago. EBITDA jumped 28 percent from $243 million for the fiscal first quarter in 2013 to $311.1 million this year. Operating profit jumped 28.7 percent from $160.7 million a year ago to $206.9 million this year.
Sunbelt Rentals is owned by U.K.-based Ashtead plc, and for the company as a whole including U.K. rental company A-Plant, rental revenue for the fiscal first quarter totaled £417.7 million (about U.S. $687.3 million) compared to £373.2 million a year ago, a 22-percent increase. EBITDA leapt 30 percent from £176.7 million to £209.9 million (about U.S. $345.4 million).
“We are pleased to report another strong quarter as we continue to capitalize on recovering markets and take further market share in both Sunbelt and A-Plant,” said Ashtead chief executive Geoff Drabble. “Sunbelt delivered 22 percent revenue growth and A-Plant 19 percent which, together with a focus on operational efficiency, helped to deliver record underlying pre-tax profits of £120 million.
“We invested £284 million in capital expenditure and a further £32 million on bolt-on acquisitions in the quarter as we continue our strategy focused on organic growth supplemented by bolt-on acquisitions. Given the momentum evident in the business, we are increasing our full-year guidance for capital expendutre to a range of £825 million to £875 million. While we continue to invest heavily in the business, our strong margins allow us to do this while maintaining our leverage discipline.”
Drabble said as a result of this strong performance, and with a strong balance sheet to support future growth, “we now anticipate a full-year result ahead of our previous expectations.”
Group revenue increased 12 percent to £458 million (about U.S. $753.8 million) in the quarter, compared to £411 million in the year-ago period. The company said during the past year in the U.S., Sunbelt has completed 13 acquisitions, which combined with greenfields, have added 58 locations across a range of market sectors. Bolt-ons and greenfields have contributed 7 percent to growth, the company said.
Ashtead said spent £32 million on three acquisitions in the quarter, including £25 million on Chicago-based aerial rental specialist Metrolift. It also acquired oilfield rental firm Lone Star Rentals following the close of the quarter.
Sunbelt Rentals is headquartered in Fort Mill, S.C., and is No. 2 on the RER 100.
Ashtead is headquartered in London.