- Equipment rental specialist VP said profit before tax and amortisation increased 17% to £12.8m in the half-year to end-September (2012: £11m).

Revenues were £91.3 million, 9% ahead (2012: £84.0 million).

Return on capital employed was 13.9% (2012: 13.2%).

Profit margins improved once again to 14.0% (2012: 13.0%).

Capital investment in rental fleet was 46% higher than the prior year at £18.3 million.

Acquisitions totalled £4.6 million.

Interim dividend increased to 3.6 pence per share

Jeremy Pilkington, Chairman of Vp plc, commented: "The Group has produced another excellent set of results with profits, margins, return on capital and earnings per share all strongly ahead. Substantial capital investment in the rental fleet and the acquisition of Mr Cropper in September demonstrates our confidence in the opportunities for growth. The Board believes the Group is very well placed to continue to deliver further progress for the year as a whole and beyond."

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