26 October, 2004

Trading Update

Ashtead Group plc, the international equipment rental group serving the construction, industrial and homeowner markets, today makes the following trading update ahead of its interim results.

The press release of the Group’s results for the first quarter issued on 20 September 2004 stated that trading conditions remained favourable in both the Group’s main markets and were being enhanced by the work necessary to deal with the clean up of hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and (since that date) Jeanne. These favourable conditions have now continued throughout the second quarter to date and, as a result, the Group expects that its profit before goodwill amortisation and taxation for the six months ending 31 October 2004 will be ahead of market expectations.

It is too soon to know whether the recent revenue trends will continue in the second half of the year. A further update on the outlook for the year ending 30 April 2005 will be given with the interim results, which are scheduled for release on Thursday 16 December 2004.