Ashtead Group performing well with clear momentum in supportive end markets

Ashtead Group

Ashtead Group plc (LON:AHT) has announced its unaudited results for the first quarter ended 31 July 2022.

First quarter
2022
First quarter
2021
Growth1
$m$m%
Revenue2,2591,85225%
Rental revenue2,0751,66926%
EBITDA1,03986022%
Operating profit59447726%
Adjusted2 profit before taxation55543729%
Profit before taxation52741628%
Adjusted2 earnings per share94.4¢71.5¢33%
Earnings per share89.7¢68.0¢33%

Highlights3

·    Strong quarter with ongoing momentum in supportive end markets

·    Group revenue up 25%1, US rental revenue up 29%

·    Adjusted earnings per share of 94.4¢ (2021: 71.5¢)

·    Good progress against all Sunbelt 3.0 actionable components

·    $699m of capital invested in the business (2021: $551m)

·    $337m spent on 12 bolt-on acquisitions (2021: $123m)

·    Net debt to EBITDA leverage1,3 of 1.6 times (2021: 1.3 times)

1Calculated at constant exchange rates applying current period exchange rates.
2Adjusted results are stated before amortisation.
3Throughout this announcement we refer to a number of alternative performance measures which provide additional useful information.  The directors have adopted these to provide additional information on the underlying trends, performance and position of the Group.  The alternative performance measures are not defined by IFRS and therefore may not be directly comparable with other companies’ alternative performance measures but are defined and reconciled in the Glossary of Terms on page 28.

Ashtead Group’s chief executive, Brendan Horgan, commented:

“The Group has made a strong start to the financial year across all geographies with rental revenue up 26% at constant currency. This market outperformance across the business is only possible through the dedication of our team members who deliver for all our stakeholders every day, while ensuring our leading value of safety remains at the forefront of all we do.

Our end markets remain strong and we continue to execute well across all actionable components of our strategic growth plan, Sunbelt 3.0.  In the quarter, we invested $699m in capital across existing locations and greenfields and $337m on 12 bolt-on acquisitions, adding a combined 33 locations in North America. This significant investment is enabling us to take advantage of the substantial structural growth opportunities that we see for the business as we deliver our strategic priorities to grow our general tool and specialty businesses and advance our clusters.  We are achieving all this while maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet with leverage near the bottom of our target range.

Our business is performing well with clear momentum in supportive end markets.  We are in a position of strength and have the experience to navigate the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities arising from the market circumstances we face, including supply chain constraints, inflation, labour scarcity and economic uncertainty, all factors which we are convinced are drivers of ongoing structural change. The business is performing strongly, with revenue and operating profit ahead of our previous expectations.  This performance is offset by increasing interest costs and therefore, we expect adjusted profit before taxation for the year to be in line with our previous expectations and the Board looks to the future with confidence.”

Brendan Horgan and Michael Pratt will hold a conference call for equity analysts to discuss the results and outlook at 10:00am on Tuesday, 6 September 2022.  The call will be webcast live via the Company’s website at www.ashtead-group.com and a replay will be available via the website shortly after the call concludes.  A copy of this announcement and the slide presentation used for the call are available for download on the Company’s website.  The usual conference call for bondholders will begin at 3pm (10am EST).

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Analysts and bondholders have already been invited to participate in the analyst call and conference call for bondholders but any eligible person not having received details should contact the Company’s PR advisers, Maitland/AMO (Audrey Da Costa) at +44 (0)20 7379 5151.

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