Ashtead PLC (LON:AHT) said fourth-quarter revenues jumped by 23% while profits in the three months to end April 2021 more than doubled as the US economy started to reopen after coronavirus.
The rapid recovery enabled the plant hire group almost to claw back the ground lost at the start of the pandemic with revenues for the year down slightly at £5.03bn (£5.05bn) and profits at £936mln (£986mln).
Cash flow generated was a record for the US-focused group at £1.38bn (2020: £792mln)
Brendan Horgan, chief executive, said: “We returned to growth in the fourth quarter with rental revenue up 15% over last year and up 14% when compared with the fourth quarter of 2018/19, both at constant exchange rates.
“This completes a year of market outperformance across the business with full-year rental revenue up 1% at constant exchange rates.”
A final dividend of 35p makes 42.15p (40.65p) for the year.