In a conference call with analysts on March 9, Brendan Horgan, CEO of Ashtead Group, which is the parent company of Sunbelt Rentals, said he was pleased with the ongoing growth across the group.
“Rental revenues for the nine months in North America were well ahead of last year’s pandemic-affected levels by 22 percent and an impressive 16 percent ahead of the 2019 and 2020 pre-pandemic levels,” Horgan said, citing a 19 percent increase in year-on-year growth for general tool rental and a 34 percent increase in specialty rental revenue.
“The supply and demand equation remains incredibly tight, an ongoing dynamic that has led to record levels of utilization throughout the business. Further, our industry, like any other, is experiencing inflation, ranging from equipment, to goods, to services, to wages. When you combine these supply and demand circumstances, inflation realities and focus on delivering leading service to our customers, you should be able to do it while increasing rental rates. We have done just that,” Horgan said, later adding that the company will likely finish its fiscal year with an average 5 percent year-on-year rate improvement.
During the call, he also said the company has completed the acquisition of ComRent, a solutions-driven load bank rental business, in February with more details to come.
“The load bank market represents an exciting growth opportunity in a rapidly advancing electrification environment, a product and service which is highly complementary to our largest specialty business, Power & HVAC, creating an even more powerful cross-selling opportunity across many of our specialty and generalist business lines,” he said, adding that the addition increases the company’s scale and expertise in load bank offerings.
“The lineup of bolt-on acquisitions completed, augmented and added to our greenfield campaign, having added temporary structures via the Mahaffey acquisition, our tent specialty business line, and most recently, significantly bolstering our Power & HVAC business with the addition of ComRent. Our plan is clear, and our team is engaged and focused on continuous delivery,” Horgan said.