The price of shares in FTSE 100 equipment rental and retail business Ashtead (LON:AHT) rose by 7.10% to 1,960p (as of 11:20 BST) after it posted a trading update. Management said that trading was down due to the COVID-19 lockdown, but there has been some mitigation as emergency response efforts hired out tools and price levels have generally held up. The company is also managing cashflow by suspending recruitment, M&A activity, and its share buyback programme as well as cutting planned capital expenditure.
CEO Brendan Horgan commented: “We are grateful for and extraordinarily proud of our team members who continue to respond as essential service providers during a time when our communities are in need. All levels of the organisation have quickly adapted our operations to continue servicing our customers while keeping our leading value of safety at the forefront of all we do.
“Looking forward, I am certain the swift actions we took during these unprecedented times and the strength of our balance sheet will serve the Group well. These factors, when combined with the diversity of our products and end markets, contribute to the strength of our long-term business model and put the Board in a position of confidence to look to the coming financial year as one of strong cash generation and strengthening our market position“.