Ashtead plc, parent company to Sunbelt Rentals, last week warned that profits for 2009-10 were likely to fall below expectations because of the ongoing slump in private-sector construction. The company said fiscal fourth-quarter rental revenues for the quarter ended April 30, declined 24 percent from the same period last year, at constant exchange rates.
The company expects underlying profits for the fiscal year to fall in the lower end of analysts’ forecast range of £85 million to £94 million (about U.S. $129 million to $143 million).
The company said rental rates declined more than expected.
“The cost reduction measures originally announced with our half-year results last December are now substantially complete,” the company said in a statement. “These comprised the closure of underperforming rental stores, the disposal of rental equipment made surplus by the decline in rental demand and headcount reductions.”
Ashtead will report its results for the fiscal year ended April 30 in mid-June.
Based in Fort Mill, S.C., Sunbelt Rentals is No. 3 on the new RER 100.