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FTSE 100 industrial equipment firm Ashtead (LON:AHT) upped its revenues for the half-year ended 31st October by 19% to 2.25 billion. Profits before taxation for the period rose by 25% to £610 million.
Chief executive Geoff Drabble said: “The Group delivered a strong quarter with good performance across the Group. As a result, Group rental revenue increased 18% for the six months and underlying pre-tax profit increased 19% to £633m, both at constant exchange rates.
“We have invested £1,063m in capital and a further £362m on bolt-on acquisitions in the period which has added 80 locations and resulted in a rental fleet growth of 15%. This investment reflects the structural growth opportunity that we continue to see in the business as we broaden our product offering and geographic reach, and increase market share.
“Whilst these are significant investments we remain focused on responsible growth so, after spending £425m to date on our share buyback programme, we have maintained net debt to EBITDA leverage at 1.8 times. Therefore we remain well within our target range of 1.5 to 2.0 times reflecting the strength of our margins and free cash flow.
“Our business is performing well in supportive end markets. Accordingly, we expect full year results to be ahead of our prior expectations and the Board continues to look to the medium term with confidence.”
The price of shares in Ashtead rose by 4.33% to 1,676p (as of 12:25 GMT).