Shares in FTSE 100 equipment rental firm Ashtead Group (LON:AHT) climbed by 9.35% to 2,643p (as of 12:45 BST) as it reported a 9% increase in revenues for the year ended 30th April. Profits before tax were down by 7% but the board still recommended that the company increase dividend payments relative to last year. The company said that it was facing considerable uncertainties due to the current environment and they expect this to continue in the coming months, but believe they are well positioned to respond.
CEO Brendan Horgan commented: “I am extraordinarily proud of, and grateful for, our team members and their response during a time when our communities were in need. All levels of the organisation quickly adapted our operations to continue servicing our customers while keeping our leading value of safety at the forefront of all we do.
“While no one could have foreseen the global impact of COVID-19, our business model and capital structure are designed to withstand the cyclical nature of some of our end markets. We took prompt actions to optimise cash flow, reducing capital expenditure and operating costs, and strengthen further our liquidity position. In these unprecedented times, the results of our long-term strategy to mature our business through diversity and scale came through in our performance“.