16-05-2011

Financial highlights

  • Adjusted loss before tax* reduced from £6.2m in 2010 to £0.7m, demonstrating an improving year on year trend
  • Second half adjusted profit before tax* of £9.2m, compared to first half loss of £9.9m
  • Revenue up 0.9% to £354.2m (2010: £351.1m) (up 3.6% when adjusted for fleet equipment sales and the disposed Accommodation Hire operation)
  • EBITA* up 3.8% at £8.3m (2010: £8.0m), following a first half EBITA* loss of £4.6m (second half profit of £12.9m)
  • Loss before tax (post amortisation and exceptional items) of £27.0m (2010: loss £22.8m)
  • £10.9m increase in net capex, with net debt reduced by £5.4m to £113.9m (2010: £119.3m)
  • Sale of older/under-utilised equipment has raised £16.2m (2010: £22.6m) for reinvestment into new hire fleet
  • Post year-end sale of the loss-making Accommodation Hire operation for £34.9m (7.6x FY11 EBITDA pre allocations, recharges and exceptional items)
  • Net debt/EBITDA* remains strong at 1.79x (2010: 1.75x) (pro-forma 1.3x when adjusted for Accommodation Hire disposal)
  • Final dividend proposed of 0.2 pence per share (2010: 0.2 pence per share)
  • Good progress made in refinancing the June 2012 debt facility maturity

Trading and operational highlights

  • Continued successful implementation of the Group’s strategy of developing close, long-term strategic partnerships with major contractors and industrial groups
  • Hire activities increasingly supported by delivery of a wide range of broader complementary activities in both the UK and internationally, now accounting for 28% of Group revenue
  • Improvements in UK hire rates (ending the year 10% ahead of the prior year) and in UK asset utilisation (Q4 up 12% year on year)
  • Technology investment has continued, with hand held PDA’s now fully rolled out and a new ecommerce website developed
  • Superstore investment programme has continued, with 9 sites opened to date
  • Continued progress in the International and Training & Advisory businesses, with revenue growing to £10.7m (2010: £3.7m)

*before amortisation and exceptional costs.

Commenting on the results, Ishbel Macpherson, Chairman, said:

“We have established a solid platform from which to build and, whilst we remain alert to the continuing uncertainty in the economy, we expect to make further progress in 2011/12.”

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