, 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. 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.