* Full-year underlying pretax profit 60.3 mln stg vs est
60.02 mln stg
* Revenue 571.5 mln stg vs est 569.7 mln stg
* To open 4 new sites in London by end of October
* Shares rises as much as 4.9 percent
(Adds comments from chairman, finance director, analyst;
updates share movement)
By Esha Vaish
June 25 Vehicle rental company Northgate Plc
beat market estimates with a 22 percent rise in
full-year profit as more businesses leased its vans in Spain and
Shares in the company rose as much as 4.9 percent, ranking
the stock among top percentage gainers on the FTSE-250 Midcap
Index on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
While revenue from vehicle hires in the UK grew marginally
and that from Spain fell slightly, Northgate said the number of
vehicles rented annually in both these markets grew for the
first time after four straight years of decline.
Northgate, which rents out light commercial vehicles under
flexible contracts to retailers, engineering and distribution
companies, said it continued to trade in line with its
Peel Hunt analyst Andrew Nussey said he expected Northgate's
profit to increase next year as it had changed its depreciation
Northgate's share price is likely to rise as the economies
it operated in were showing "clearer signs of recovery", Nussey
said while raising his 2015 pretax profit estimate to 75 million
pounds from 65 million pounds.
The company, which also provides vehicle monitoring and
automotive part procurement services, said underlying pretax
profit rose to 60.3 million pounds ($102.3 million) in the year
ended April 30, from 49.5 million pounds a year earlier.
Revenue fell 6.3 percent to 571.5 million pounds, as more
people chose to rent across it markets allowing the company to
sell less vehicles.
Analysts on average expected a pretax profit of 60.02
million pounds on revenue of 569.7 million pounds, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Northgate's growth has been more sure-footed in the UK where
improving business sentiment and lax lending conditions have
encouraged companies to increase their capital expenditure and
The company, whose UK revenue was boosted by the four new
sites it opened in London during the year, has narrowed in on
four more sites it intends to open across the city by October
end, Finance Director Chris Muir told Reuters.
Northgate was also looking to open a further 18 sites in the
UK over the next two to three years, Muir said.
The new sites will be mostly in London, an important area
that Northgate had missed out due to high property rates and
lack of branches, Chairman Bob MacKenzie said.
The company gets about 51 percent of its revenue from hires
made in the UK, while it generates over 26 percent from leasing
out vehicles in Spain. The rest comes from selling vans in these
Northgate raised its final dividend to 6.8 pence per share
from 6 pence a year ago.
The Darlington-based company's shares were up 1 percent at
506.5 pence at 1023 GMT after touching a high of 526 pence.
($1 = 0.5892 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bangalore)