H&E Equipment Services today announced first-quarter revenues increased 28.7 percent to $173.7 million versus $134.9 million a year ago with revenues increasing in all segments. Net income increased to $4 million in the first quarter ended March 31, compared to a net loss of $6.5 million a year ago. EBITDA increased 82 percent to $38.7 million from $21.3 million a year ago, yielding a margin of 22.3 percent compared to 15.8 percent of revenues a year ago.
Rental revenues increased 23 percent in Q112, or $11.2 million, to $59.6 million on higher time utilization, rates and a larger fleet compared to a year ago. New equipment sales increased to $41.0 million, reflecting a 40.5-percent increase from a year ago due to higher demand in new crane sales.
â€śThe momentum in our business continued into the first quarter resulting in strong performance with growth in every segment of our business compared to a year ago,â€ť said John Engquist, H&E Equipment Servicesâ€™ president and CEO. â€śThe construction environment continues to improve and we experienced elevated demand across all the regions we serve, especially in our Gulf Coast and Intermountain regions where energy-related activity remains especially high. Our rental revenues were particularly strong, growing 23.0 percent from a year ago with continued improvement in rates and utilization.â€ť
Rental gross margins increased to 42.4 percent in the first quarter compared to 35.4 percent a year ago. Average time utilization (based on original equipment cost) increased to 69.5 percent compared to 64.9 percent a year ago. Average time utilization (based on units available for rent) increased to 65.8 percent compared to 61 percent last year.
Average rental rates increased 10.1 percent compared to a year ago and 1.5 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. Dollar utilization was 32.3 percent in the first quarter compared to 27.9 percent a year ago. Rental fleet age on March 31, was 42.8 months compared to an industry age of 52 months.
â€śWe are pleased that our distribution business generated solid growth of 32.2 percent over last yearâ€™s results,â€ť Engquist said. â€śWe continue to benefit from our exposure in high-growth industrial segments and improving market conditions, and as a result, both revenue and EBITDA grew significantly, at 28.7 percent and 82.0 percent, respectively.
â€śOur outlook for 2012 remains positive based on current market conditions and we believe our results validate our ability to capitalize on these cycle improvements. We remain focused on solid execution, operating leverage and cost control to profitably grow our business.â€ť
Headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., H&E Equipment Services has 65 full-service facilities throughout the West Coast, Intermountain, Southwest, Gulf Coast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States. It is No. 12 on the RER 100.