Cleaning up the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy last November has led to booming revenues in the US, plant-hire firm Ashtead said today.
Shares jumped 8% or 40.25p to 564.75p as Ashtead — which rents everything from small tools to large diggers — more than doubled pre-tax profits to £53.8 million in the three months to January and raised its full-year expectations.
Ashtead saw revenues from its US arm Sunbelt rise 27%, largely thanks to the recovery operations.
“With this momentum clearly established in the business, we now anticipate a full-year profit ahead of our earlier expectations,” said Geoff Drabble, the company’s chief executive.
Aside from the one-off, Ashtead — which trades in the UK under the A-Plant banner — has benefited in recent years as customers shy away from buying and maintaining expensive equipment and hire it instead.
Business prospects look so good that the firm is pulling forward around $100 million (£65.8 million) in fleet expenditure previously planned for the next financial year into the final quarter of this year.