Steady growth at Vp

UK rental group Vp - owner of telehandler rental company UK Forks, low level access company MEP and general rental business Brandon Hire has published its interim results for the six months to the end of September.

Total revenues for the six months improved by six percent to £186.5 million, this was made up of £166.9 million in the UK - up four percent on the year - as was the operating profit at £22.5 million. The International division achieved a 28 percent growth in sales to £19.4 million, with operating profits more than doubling to £1.6 million.

Group pre-tax profits slipped four percent to £17.9 million, but this includes £1.87 million of exceptional items, most of which is associated with the formal sale process that the company launched in April and abandoned in August. Without that pre-tax profit was £19.7 million - just over six percent up on the same period last year.

Capital expenditure on the fleet increased seven percent to £33.8 million, leaving the net debt at £148.9 million up 13 percent on the year.

Chairman Jeremy Pilkington said: "I am pleased to report a solid set of results that reflect a period of continuing recovery, and which demonstrate the enduring strength of our business and the maintenance of our industry leading returns. Our businesses have continued to make good progress in their engagement with customers and supply chain partners to deliver sustainable and innovative fleet solutions as we collectively strive to reduce emissions.”

"The period under review has seen continued inflationary pressure on fleet capital costs, transport, fuel, wages, utilities and interest costs, but we have largely mitigated these with agreed price increases combined with a diligent focus on efficiencies within our business. We expect these actions to remain a priority for the foreseeable future. Notwithstanding these challenges, we remain alert to quality growth opportunities whether organic or via acquisitions and we remain confident of delivering a full year outcome in line with the board's expectations."

Vertikal Comment

This is a reasonable set of numbers, given the current inflationary challenges, however while capital expenditure has increased it still seems modest for a large fleet that includes sizeable volume of smaller equipment with shorter commercially viable lifetime.

The company is though still well set to take advantage of upcoming opportunities, both in the UK and within its small overseas operations.


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