Rental revenue increased by 8 percent in the first quarter for Lavendon Group, U.K.-based rental provider of powered access equipment in Europe and the Middle East. The Group posted a 13-percent rental volume jump in the Middle East in the quarter, 10 percent in the U.K. and 9 percent in France.

Rental volume increased a more modest 4 percent in Belgium and declined 3 percent in Germany. The Group’s total revenue for the quarter, on a constant currency basis and excluding used equipment sales, increased 7 percent year over year.

The company was encouraged with progress in Europe after a period of challenging market conditions. Lavendon has a positive expectation in the Middle East and plans to allocate additional capital into the region in the coming months.

“The Group’s first quarter performance was encouraging, with an underlying trading improvement being seen across nearly all our markets,” said Lavendon chief executive Don Kenny. “In particular, the revenue growth in the U.K., France and the Middle East has been strong, driving improvements in our profitability and margins. Whilst recognizing the continuing economic uncertainties in our European markets, the board is confident of making further progress during the year and delivering its expectations for 2014.”

Lavendon has operations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, France, India, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. The company is based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, U.K.