FORT MILL, S.C.Sunbelt Rentals posted a 23-percent revenue increase in its fiscal year ended April 30, jumping from $1,224.7 million in fiscal 2011 to $1,506.6 million in fiscal 2012. Sunbelt’s EBITDA hike was even better, a 39.3-percent increase from $388.2 million in fiscal 2011 to $540.8 million in the recently concluded year, while operating profit soared from $162.1 million to $289.9 million, a 78.8-percent leap.

Sunbelt’s rental revenue increased 23 percent to $1,335 million from $1,084 million, with a 13-percent increase in average fleet on rent and 7-percent growth in yield. Sunbelt’s rental revenue grew 19 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, with 13-percent growth in fleet on rent and 6-percent improvement in yield.

Sunbelt Rentals is owned by U.K.-based Ashtead plc. Its U.K. equipment rental counterpart, A-Plant, increased revenue 13.9 percent for the full year, from £165.8 million in FY11 to £188.9 million (about U.S. $294.4 million) in FY12.

In total, company revenue jumped 21 percent from £948.5 million to £1,134.6 million (about U.S. $1.77 billion), while EBITDA increased 36 percent from £283.8 million to £381.1 million.

In the fourth quarter, revenue increased 17 percent, year over year, from £242.8 million to £287.8 million.

“We are delighted to report record Group profits, encouragingly delivered against a backdrop of end construction markets remaining at historically low levels,” said Ashtead chief executive Geoff Drabble. “This performance demonstrates the success of our largely organic investment strategy and our ability to generate significant revenue growth from market share gains and translate this into stronger margins through improved operational efficiency. The momentum we have established and the flexibility provided by our strong balance sheet, allows us to anticipate further growth with or without end market recovery. As a result, it is likely that our profits in the coming year will be ahead of our previous expectations.”

The company invested heavily in the past year. Capital expenditure for the year was £476 million (about U.S. $742.2 million), more than double the previous year’s total of £225.5 million, of which £426 million was rental fleet replacement with the balance spent on delivery vehicles, property improvements and computers. Used equipment proceeds were £90 million, compared to £65 million the previous year.

The company reported a strong month of May, with a 15-percent rental revenue growth for Sunbelt Rentals and 5 percent for A-Plant.

Based in Fort Mill, S.C., Sunbelt Rentals is No. 3 on the RER 100 and is the second-largest equipment rental company in North America.