- Equipment rental specialist VP said profit before tax and amortisation increased 6% to £11m in the first half-year to end-September (H1 2012: £10.4m).

Revenues of £84.0 million were 2% ahead of the equivalent prior year period (H1 2012: £82.7 million).

Return on capital employed was 13.2% (H1 2012: 13.1%).

Capital investment in the fleet was £12.6 million.

Acquisitions cost £4.1 million.

A tender offer for shares was completed at £7.8 million.

Net debt increased to £50.1 million (FY 2012: £40.4 million).

Interim dividend is increased to 3.25 pence per share.

The group has a solid balance sheet with strong operational cash flow of £18.6 million.

Jeremy Pilkington, Chairman, commented: "The Group has delivered another extremely positive set of results despite continued unsettled market conditions. The strength of these figures highlight the benefit of Vp's well established strategy of focusing on specialist sectors where the Group enjoys strong market positions. We have continued to invest in our people, systems and fleet to ensure sustainable performance over the medium and long term."

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