United Kingdom-based equipment hire group Ashtead Group last week reported a 35-percent increase in fiscal first-half underlying pretax profit. Profit before tax, amortization and exceptional items was 54.4 million pounds (about U.S. $106 million) for the six-month period ended Oct. 31, compared to 40.2 million pounds (about U.S. $79 million) for the same period in 2005. Revenue in the period increased 35 percent to 422.3 million pounds (about U.S. $830.4 million).
“The first half saw a good performance in all three operating divisions where a combination of strong markets and continued market share gains resulted in rental revenues and operating profits,” said Ashtead chief executive Geoff Drabble.Ashtead is the parent company of Charlotte, N.C.-based Sunbelt Rentals, No. 4 on the RER 100.