United raises guidance as recovery continues

By Murray Pollok29 April 2021

United Rentals said its first quarter results reflected a “strong start” to the year as its customers continued to recover from the worst of the pandemic.

Revenues for the period to 31 March were 6.5% down year-on-year at US$1.67 billion, with the general rentals business 8.7% lower and the specialist business (trenching, power and pumps) up 1.3%.

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Net profits for the three months were up 3.9% at $203 million, with EBITDA profits 4.6% lower at $873 million.

The company, which recently announced the proposed $966 million acquisition of storage and accommodation specialist General Finance, has upgraded its outlook for the full year.

Revenues are now expected to be in the $9.05 to 9.45 billion range (up from $8.6 - 9.0 billion) and its gross capital expenditure on fleet will be between $3.1 and $3.5 billion compared to the $2.95 - 3.45 billion previously announced.

Matthew Flannery, United’s CEO, said; “We were very pleased with our first quarter results and the strong start to our year, as our key end-markets continue to rebound from the challenges of 2020. Sentiment among our customers continues to improve, and we are well prepared to support them as we enter the busiest part of our season.

“The recovery that we’ve seen since the middle of last year remains evident across our business, and virtually all indicators point to these trends continuing. As such, we are raising our full-year guidance to reflect our expectations for stronger growth in our core rental business and increased used equipment sales. “

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