Thursday, August 13, 2009

Report analyses big plant owners’ performance

The 2008/2009 Plant Hire Investment Report by Catherine Stratton analyses the accounts of the biggest plant hire companies and some of the plant owning contractor and reflects the start of the recession. However, as only six companies have filed their year-end accounts in 2009, the snapshot does not fully reflect the sharp downturn that took place in the second half of 2008.

The two biggest international plant owning companies, Ashtead and Aggreko, retain the top two slots in terms of gross book value of their fleet (at ВЈ1.76bn and ВЈ1.38bn respectively) while at ВЈ544m Lavendon has climbed to third place demoting Speedy (ВЈ514m) to fifth. Balfour Beatty remains the highest placed contractor with a fleet worth ВЈ526m and rises from fifth position to fourth.


Report analyses big plant owners’ performance


Five of the major plant holding companies have boosted the gross book value of their fleet by over a half with Coats Hire growing by 62.2% to ВЈ25.3m while Keller Group was up 60.2% to ВЈ372.9m.

The biggest fallers in terms of fleet value are Taylor Wimpey (which divested much of its plant interest but remains in 30th position) and Ringway (-18.9%). GE Capital Equipment continued its slide with a 17.8% fleet reduction seeing it fall to 20th position while Speedy Hire and sixth-placed Hewden reduced their fleet by 9.7% and 8.2% to stand at ВЈ514.3m and ВЈ436.7m respectively.

Good performers among the hire companies include MFG (Trench), Andrew Sykes, Brandon Hire, HSS and Hydrex, all of which recorded rental revenue higher than the gross book value of their fleet, and rail plant specialist Quattro Plant which grew its income by 87.3% to ВЈ21.3m.

Analysis of the hire companies’ pre-tax profit shows Aggreko’s ВЈ190m is six times second position Ainscough (ВЈ28.8m) while Speedy recorded the biggest pre-tax loss of ВЈ70.6m (due to exceptionals) with five other big names also in negative territory. The report also ranks hire companies using KPIs like changes in revenue, trading profit, profit as a percentage of revenue, gross return on plant, depreciation costs and interest cover.   

Among the 74-strong plant hire customer league table, Balfour Beatty remained firmly on top having spent ВЈ120m on plant hire in 2008 and BG Energy retains second spot with ВЈ104m - albeit that the figure relates to 2007.

Copies of the 112 page Plant Hire Investment report can be ordered on and cost ВЈ499.


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