(Adds details, CEO quote)
LONDON, Sept 3 British industrial equipment hire
group Ashtead raised its full-year guidance on Wednesday
after posting a 33 percent rise in first-quarter pretax profits
on strong demand from the United States and Britain.
Chief Executive Geoff Drabble said he now anticipated the
company's full year results would be ahead of previous
expectations and increased its plans for capital expenditure to
a range of 825 million pounds to 875 million pounds.
Analysts had expected the company to report an average
estimate of 437.78 million pounds in full-year pretax profits,
according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
The company, which rents everything from small tools to
large diggers and water pumps, said pretax profits rose to 120
million pounds ($197.54 million) for the period ending July. 31,
compared to 99.5 million for the same period a year earlier.
Ashtead, which makes 85 percent of its revenue from U.S.
division Sunbelt, said rental revenue from the division rose 22
percent in the first quarter.
Its British business, A-Plant, also grew by 19 percent.
"As a result of this strong performance, and with a strong
balance sheet to support future growth, we now anticipate a full
year result ahead of our previous expectations," said Drabble in
($1 = 0.6075 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; editing by Kate Holton)