5 December, 2023

Unaudited results for the half year and second quarter ended 31 October 2023

Read and download the unaudited results for the half year and second quarter ended 31 October 2023. You can also view the latest webcast.

 Second quarterFirst half
Rental revenue2,5852,30811%4,9604,38313%
Operating profit7997457%1,5021,33912%
Adjusted3 profit before taxation6976881%1,3121,2435%
Profit before taxation6666581%1,2501,1855%
Adjusted3 earnings per share118.3¢117.9¢- %225.8¢212.2¢6%
Earnings per share113.0¢112.8¢- %215.3¢202.4¢6%

Half year highlights3

  • Record first half performance in robust end markets
  • Group revenue up 16%2; US revenue up 18% with rental revenue up 14%
  • Adjusted3 earnings per share increased 6% to 225.8¢ (2022: 212.2¢)
  • 74 locations added in North America
  • $2.5bn of capital invested in the business (2022: $1.7bn)
  • $705m spent on 16 bolt-on acquisitions (2022: $609m)
  •  Net debt to EBITDA leverage2 of 1.8 times (2022: 1.6 times)
  •  Interim dividend increased 5% to 15.75¢ per share (2022: 15¢ per share)
  1. Throughout this announcement we refer to a number of alternative performance measures which provide additional useful information. The directors have adopted these to provide additional information on the underlying trends, performance and position of the Group. The alternative performance measures are not defined by IFRS and therefore may not be directly comparable with other companies’ alternative performance measures but are defined and reconciled in the Glossary of Terms on page 36.
  2. Calculated at constant exchange rates applying current period exchange rates.
  3. Adjusted results are stated before amortisation. 

Ashtead’s chief executive, Brendan Horgan, commented:

“The Group continues to perform strongly with revenue up 16% and rental revenue growth of 13%, both at constant currency. This strong performance is only possible through the dedication of our team members who deliver for all our stakeholders every day, while ensuring our leading value of safety remains at the forefront of all we do.

We are executing well against all actionable components of our strategic growth plan, in end markets which remain robust. In the period, we invested $2.5bn in capital across existing locations and greenfields and $705m on 16 bolt-on acquisitions, adding a combined 74 locations in North America. This investment is enabling us to take advantage of the substantial structural growth opportunities that we see for the business as we deliver our strategic priorities to grow our General Tool and Specialty businesses and advance our clusters.  We are achieving all this while maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet with leverage in the middle of our target range.

On 20 November we issued a trading update lowering our revenue growth and earnings guidance for the full year to reflect the lower level of emergency response activity related to natural disasters in North America in late Q2 and into Q3 and the longer than anticipated actors’ and writers’ strikes, impacting both the Film & TV business and adjacencies within our Canadian, US and UK businesses. 

Notwithstanding these factors, our end markets in North America remain robust with healthy demand, supported in the US by the increasing number of mega projects and recent legislative acts.  We are in a position of strength, with the operational flexibility and financial capacity to capitalise on the opportunities arising from these market conditions and ongoing structural change. As we prepare our next strategic plan, Sunbelt 4.0, the Board looks to the future with confidence.”


Will ShawDirector of Investor Relations+44 (0)20 7726 9700
Sam CartwrightH/Advisors Maitland+44 (0)20 7379 5151

Brendan Horgan and Michael Pratt will hold a conference call for equity analysts to discuss the results and outlook at 9am on Tuesday, 5 December 2023.  The call will be webcast live via the Company’s website at www.ashtead-group.com and a replay will be available via the website shortly after the call concludes.  A copy of this announcement and the slide presentation used for the call are available for download on the Company’s website.  The usual conference call for bondholders will begin at 3pm (10am EST).

Analysts and bondholders have already been invited to participate in the analyst and bondholder calls but any eligible person not having received details should contact the Company’s PR advisers, H/Advisors Maitland (Audrey Da Costa) at +44 (0)20 7379 5151.


Forward-looking statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These have been made by the directors in good faith using information available up to the date on which they approved this report. The directors can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to be correct. Due to the inherent uncertainties, including both business and economic risk factors underlying such forward-looking statements, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Except as required by law or regulation, the directors undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.