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Ashtead narrowly misses profit forecasts as Q4 growth slows

By Benjamin Chiou

Date: Tuesday 18 Jun 2024

Ashtead narrowly misses profit forecasts as Q4 growth slows

(Sharecast News) - Equipment rental group Ashtead broadly met consensus estimates with double-digit annual revenue growth, though profits did come in shy of expectations, as the company pointed to a further moderation of growth in the coming year.
The company reported a 7% year-on-year increase in revenues fourth quarter ended 30 April to $2.63bn, with growth slowing from 9% in the third quarter and 16% in the first half.

However, that took full-year revenues to a record $10.86bn, up 12% on the year before and bang in line with consensus forecasts. Revenues in the US, bar far Ashtead's biggest market, rose 13% to $9.31bn, and also rose in Canada and the UK.

However, full-year EBITDA increased by 11% to $4.89bn, slightly short of the $4.92bn market forecast.

Meanwhile,, after a higher interest expense, due to the interest-rate environment and increased average debt levels, adjusted profit before taxation fell 2% on last year to $2.23bn.

The company proposed a final dividend of 89.25 cents, taking the full-year payout to 105 cents, up 5% on the year before.

"During the year, we invested $4.3bn in capital across existing locations and greenfields and $905m on 26 bolt-on acquisitions, adding a combined 113 locations in North America," said chief executive Brendan Horgan. "This investment is enabling us to take advantage of the substantial structural growth opportunities that we see for the business, while maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet."

Looking ahead, Ashtead pointed to group rental revenue growth of between 5% and 8% in the year ending April 2025, with US growth expected to slow to 4-7%.

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