ASHTEAD hiked its dividend yesterday after posting a 20 per cent rise in full-year profit thanks to a strong performance in the US.
The UK equipment rental company raised its final dividend to 33.5p per share, bringing its total dividend for the year to 40p, 21 per cent higher than 2018's 33p.
Revenue rose 19 per cent year on year to £4.5bn for the year to the end of April. Meanwhile profit before tax grew 20 per cent to break through the billion-pound barrier at £1.06bn, up from last year's £862m.
However, earnings per share fell 17 per cent year on year to 166.1p after Trump's tax cut bolstered last year's 195.3p figure.
The US Sunbelt business drove Ashtead's growth, reporting rental sales growth 22 per cent of £3.5bn.
Meanwhile revenue from Ashtead'sUK A-plant division grew 2.7 per cent to £416m, while its Sunbelt Canada business posted a 54 per cent rise in revenue to £167m.
Analysts at Liberum said: "The market should be relieved that growth has continued without interruption in [the fourth quarter], with management expressing confidence in end markets in the US now and into the medium term.
"The shares still look cheap, having only recovered half of the macro-drive sell-off of late 2018."
Boss Brendan Horgan said: "With our business performing well and a strong balance sheet to support our plans, the board continues to look to the medium term with confidence."
(c) 2019 City A.M., source Newspaper