Sunbelt Rentals in the United States posted total revenue for fiscal 2018 ended April 30 of $4,153.1 million compared to $3,525.4 million for fiscal 2017, a 17.8-percent year-over-year increase. Sunbelt Canada posted CDN $223.4 million compared to $76.7 million in the previous year, almost tripling its revenue with the acquisition of Contractors Rental Service in Ontario last year.
EBITDA for Sunbelt Rentals for the fiscal year was $2,062.9 million compared to $1,745.5 million in fiscal 2017, an 18.2-percent leap.
A-Plant, Sunbelt Rentals’ U.K. sister company, posted £471.7 million compared to £418.2 million in fiscal 2017, a 12.8-percent jump.
The Ashtead Group in the U.S., Canada and U.K., totaled £3,706 million for the year (U.S. $4,882.7 million), compared to £3,186.8 million in fiscal 2017, a 16.3-percent jump.
“I am delighted to be able to report another very successful year for Ashtead with rental revenue increasing 21 percent and underlying pre-tax profit increasing 21 percent to £927 million, both at constant exchange rates,” said Geoff Drabble, Ashtead plc chief executive. “Our end markets remain strong and are supported by the continued structural changes in our market as customers rely increasingly on rental while we leverage the benefits of scale. We continue to execute well on our strategy through a combination of organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions, investing £1.2 billion by way of capital expenditure and £392 million on bolt-on acquisitions in the year.
“Our strong margins and lower replacement capital expenditure are delivering good earnings growth and significant free cash flow generation. This provides us with significant operational and financial flexibility, enabling us to invest in the long-term structural growth opportunity and enhance returns to shareholders while maintaining leverage within our target range of 1.5 to 2.0 times net debt to EBITDA. We have spent £200 million on our share buyback program announced in December.”
Drabble added that Ashtead expects to spend a similar level of capital expenditure in 2018-19 consistent with its strategic plan.
Sunbelt U.S., A-Plant and Sunbelt Canada delivered 20 percent, 13 percent and 152 percent rental only revenue respectively. Sunbelt Rentals 2018 rental revenue was $3,887 million, with $796 million in ancillary revenue and $266 million in sales revenue.
Ashtead said Sunbelt’s revenue growth demonstrates the successful execution of its long-term structural growth strategy. “We continue to capitalize on the opportunity presented by our markets through a combination of organic growth (same-store growth and greenfields) and bolt-ons as we expand our geographic footprint and our specialty businesses,” the company said. “We added 62 new stores in the U.S. in the year, around half of which were specialty locations. Rental-only revenue growth was 20 percent in strong end markets. This growth was driven by increased fleet on rent, with yield flat year-over-year. Sunbelt U.S. has made a significant contribution to the clean-up efforts following hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.”
The company added that while it is difficult to exactly determine the overall revenue impact of these efforts, it estimates an incremental total rental revenue in the year of about $100 million.
Sunbelt’s average physical utilization for the year was 72 percent.
In the fiscal fourth quarter, Ashtead’s rental revenue was £798.7 million compared to £727.4 million a year ago, a 9.8-percent jump. For Sunbelt U.S., fourth quarter revenue was £738 million (about U.S. $972.2 million), compared to restated fourth quarter revenue for fiscal 2017 of £702.4 million (a 5.1-percent hike).
Sunbelt Rentals, Ft. Mill, S.C., is No. 2 on the RER 100. Ashtead plc is headquartered in London.