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Ashtead Group

Ashtead Group PLC Delivered a strong quarter with good performance

Ashtead Group PLC (LON:AHT) today announced Unaudited results for the half year and second quarter ended 31 October 2018

Second quarter

First half

2018

2017

Growth1

2018

2017

Growth1

£m

£m

%

£m

£m

%

Underlying results2

Rental revenue

1,113.5

945.2

17%

2,074.5

1,774.0

18%

EBITDA

595.1

502.6

17%

1,098.8

933.7

19%

Profit before taxation

347.8

298.4

16%

633.4

536.9

19%

Earnings per share

54.0p

38.7p

38%

98.8p

70.2p

42%

Statutory results

Revenue

1,203.0

1,019.0

17%

2,250.4

1,899.1

19%

Profit before taxation

335.6

264.2

26%

610.0

493.1

25%

Profit after taxation

251.6

170.9

46%

461.5

320.9

45%

Earnings per share

52.1p

34.3p

50%

95.1p

64.5p

49%

Half year highlights

· Revenue up 19%1; rental revenue up 18%1

· Pre-tax profit2 of £633m (2017: £537m)

· Earnings per share2 up 42%1 to 98.8p (2017: 70.2p)

· Post-tax profit of £461m (2017: £321m)

· £1,063m of capital invested in the business (2017: £708m)

· £362m spent on bolt-on acquisitions (2017: £298m)

· Net debt to EBITDA leverage1 of 1.8 times (2017: 1.8 times)

· Interim dividend raised 18% to 6.5p per share (2017: 5.5p per share)

1 Calculated at constant exchange rates applying current period exchange rates.

2 Underlying results are stated before exceptional items and intangible amortisation.

3 Throughout this announcement we refer to a number of alternative performance measures which are defined in the Glossary on page 33.

Ashtead’s chief executive, Geoff Drabble, commented:

“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.”