- Tool and equipment hire company Ashtead said barring a second wave of Covid-19 leading to market shutdowns, it expected full-year revenue to be down in the mid-to-high single digit percentage this year.

The update on guidance came as the company reported a fall in first-quarter profit as rental revenue slipped during the pandemic.

For the three months through July, pre-tax profit fell 38% to £192m on-year as revenue fell 7% to £1.2bn.

Rental revenue fell 8% to £1.1bn.

The UK business, which was rebranded Sunbelt Rentals, generated rental only revenue of £80m, down 9%, and in the US its specialty business (excluding oil and gas) grew 6% while the general tool business declined 9%.

'Assuming there is no significant COVID-19 second wave leading to major market shutdowns, like we experienced earlier this year, we expect full-year group rental revenue to be down mid to high single digits when compared with last year on a constant currency basis,' the company said.

Story provided by