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Ashtead Group

Ashtead Group PLC another Very Successful Year

Ashtead Group PLC (LON:AHT), has today announced audited results for the year and unaudited results for the forth quarter ended 30th April 2018.

Fourth quarter

Year

2018

2017

Growth1

2018

2017

Growth1

£m

£m

%

£m

£m

%

Underlying results2

Rental revenue

798.7

727.4

21%

3,418.2

2,901.2

21%

EBITDA

390.6

380.1

14%

1,733.1

1,504.4

19%

Profit before taxation

185.3

188.8

10%

927.3

793.4

21%

Earnings per share

25.1p

25.3p

11%

127.5p

104.3p

26%

Statutory results

Revenue

890.8

830.6

18%

3,706.0

3,186.8

20%

Profit before taxation

174.7

180.6

9%

862.1

765.1

16%

Profit after taxation

99.9

120.2

-2%

968.8

501.0

100%

Earnings per share

20.6p

24.2p

-1%

195.3p

100.5p

101%

Highlights

· Revenue up 20%; rental revenue up 21%1

· Pre-tax profit2 of £927m (2017: £793m)

· Earnings per share1,2 up 26% to 127.5p (2017: 104.3p)

· Post-tax profit of £969m (2017: £501m)

· £1.2bn of capital invested in the business (2017: £1.1bn)

· £386m of free cash flow generation3 (2017: £319m)

· £392m spent on bolt-on acquisitions (2017: £437m)

· Net debt to EBITDA leverage1 of 1.6 times (2017: 1.7 times)

· Proposed final dividend of 27.5p, making 33.0p for the full year, up 20% (2017: 27.5p)

Ashtead Group PLC, chief executive, Geoff Drabble, commented:

“I am delighted to be able to report another very successful year for Ashtead with rental revenue increasing 21% and underlying pre-tax profit increasing 21% to £927m, both at constant exchange rates.

Our end markets remain strong and are supported by the continued structural changes in our market as customers rely increasingly on rental while we leverage the benefits of scale. We continue to execute well on our strategy through a combination of organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions, investing £1.2bn by way of capital expenditure and £392m on bolt-on acquisitions in the year.

Our strong margins and lower replacement capital expenditure are delivering good earnings growth and significant free cash flow generation. This provides us with significant operational and financial flexibility, enabling us to invest in the long-term structural growth opportunity and enhance returns to shareholders while maintaining leverage within our target range of 1.5 to 2.0 times net debt to EBITDA. We have spent £200m under the share buyback programme announced in December.

All our divisions continue to perform well in supportive end markets. Looking forward, we anticipate a similar level of capital expenditure in 2018/19 consistent with our strategic plan. So, with all divisions performing well and a strong balance sheet to support our plans, the Board continues to look to the medium term with confidence.”

 

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