A-Plant capex reined in

A-Plant generated revenue of £178.3m in the six months to 31st October 2015 and an operating profit of £35.0m. By comparison, for the same period in 2014 it made £29.7m profit on £165.6m revenue.

Rental only revenue was up 9% to £131m (2014: £120m).  This reflects 8% more fleet on rent and yield up 1%. “Although demand remains good, utilisation is lower than expected so we have responded by lowering our planned level of capital expenditure,” the board revealed.

Parent company Ashtead, which also owns the much bigger US rental company Sunbelt, reported a first-half pre-tax profit of £342.7m (2014: £259.2m) on revenue of £1,267.5m (2014: £987.3m).

This was helped by a 22% rise in Sunbelt’s rental revenues. Overall, Sunbelt made £353.8m operating profit on £1,089.2m revenue for the six-month period – a 32.5% operating margin in the USA, compared to A-Plant’s 19.6% in the UK.