In a sign of an improvement in the United Kingdom economy, aerial platform rental specialist Lavendon reported flat revenue for the fourth quarter, with 6 percent rental revenue growth in France and 8 percent in the Middle East. In the full year of 2013, Lavendon posted a 21-percent rental revenue boost in the Middle East, a 7-percent hike in France, and a 4-percent decline in the U.K. Rental revenue declined 7 percent in Germany and 6 percent in Belgium for 2013.

Lavendon said annualized operational efficiency gains were ahead of expectations at the end of 2013, with significant fleet investment funded from annual cash flows. The company also reduced its net debt on a constant currency basis. The company said its revenue performance in the U.K., which represents 46 percent of its total group rental revenue, continued to improve in the fourth quarter and is gathering momentum going into 2014 “with volumes remaining consistently ahead of the prior year and pricing showing further signs of strengthening.”

The company reported robust demand in its Middle East operations, supported by additional fleet investment. “The overall outlook for the region continues to be very positive, although the more onerous regulatory environment, particularly in Saudi Arabia, is slowing the progress of some projects whilst the market adjusts to these requirements.”

“During the year, we have again delivered strong revenue growth in France and the Middle East, and, importantly, seen an improving trend in our UK business through both increased volumes and an improved pricing environment,” said Lavendon chief executive Don Kenny. “The board expects the group’s results for 2013 to be in line with its expectations, and, whilst mindful of continuing economic uncertainties in our European markets, we are looking forward to making further progress in 2014.”

Lavendon has operations in the U.K., Germany, Belgium, France, Bahrain, India, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with more than 20,000 units in its fleet. It is headquartered in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, U.K.