MARKET REPORT: Ashtead shares fall as UK gloom overshadows boom in US

Logo Daily MailDaily Mail
2023-09-05 21:56:55  • 4 mins

Ashtead shares fell as rapid progress at its US business was overshadowed by concerns over softening market conditions in the UK.

The FTSE 100 firm, which hires out machinery like excavators and forklift trucks, said the rollout of mega projects on the back of investment in infrastructure under President Biden has helped trading boom in the US.

Group revenue rose 19 per cent to 2.14billion in the three months to the end of July while profit was up 11per cent to 466million.

The gains were driven by its Sunbelt Rentals business in the US, which loans out construction and industrial equipment for everything from cleaning up floods to powering sporting events.

But with high inflation remaining in Britain, it said it now expects rental revenue growth of between 6per cent and 9per cent in the UK in the year to the end of April 2024, down from a previous range of 10 per cent to 13 per cent.

Shares slid 2.9 per cent, or 158p, to 5310p.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: Ashtead is seen as a bellwether of economic health and its latest update is a warning for deteriorating conditions in the UK.

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