A-Plant delivered 1% growth in average fleet on rent and achieved a 6% yield improvement as it opened five outlets over the year taking the footprint to 109 centres. Staff numbers also crept up to just shy of 2,000.
In the UK, operating margins edged up from 2.6% last year to 3.9% over the period.
Trading in the more quiet third quarter improved compared to last year with revenue up 15% to £45m. Last year’s £1m trading loss was converted into a £100,000 profit during the three months to 31 January.
Over the Ashted Group pretax profits showed a near threefold rise to £105m on revenue up 23% at £847m in the 9-month period.
Ashtead’s chief executive, Geoff Drabble, said: “Our record third quarter pre-tax profit of £21m (2011: £2m loss), whilst undoubtedly being helped by favourable weather conditions, is predominantly due to the continuation of the momentum we have established over recent quarters.
“We continue to invest strongly in organic growth, with our rental fleet now being 11% larger and an average of five months younger than a year ago.”