H&E back in profit

Louisiana, USA based crane and access rental company H&E Equipment Services has reported a strong third quarter that has put it back in to the black for both the quarter and the year to date. 

Total revenues for the nine months to the end of September are up 26 percent to $503.5 million, while rental in the same period increased almost 31 percent to $165.4 million. Pre-tax profits came in a $1.5 million, compared to a loss of $36.3 million at the same point last year.

Moving to the third quarter total revenues climbed 19.8 percent to $184.29 million, of which rentals were $61.19 million – 26.8 percent higher than the same quarter last year. Used equipment and parts sales were also up significantly while new sales were just two percent higher. Pre-tax profits were £7.97 million compared to a loss last year of $5.83 million. 

The company says that physical utilisation in the quarter was 68.9 percent, compared to 62.3 percent last year and 67 percent in the second quarter. Rental rates were up 8.9 percent on the year and 4.1 percent on the quarter.

Chief executive John Engquist said: "The third quarter was another strong quarter for our business as we grew rental revenue in excess of 25 percent compared to a year ago for the fourth consecutive quarter. Our distribution business also showed solid performance despite the modest rate of recovery in the construction markets. Also, we were very pleased with a 141 percent increase in our pre-tax earnings on a sequential basis even though revenues were consistent in the second and third quarters. We continue to focus on profitable growth and are benefitting from operating leverage in our business model."

"We are entering the fourth quarter with momentum in our business and our outlook is positive. We expect strong demand for rental equipment again this quarter based on current trends and discussions with our customers. Although activity regarding equipment purchases has increased as customers consider capital expenditures before year end, the timing of these purchases is difficult to predict. Depending on the timing of these potential purchases and normal seasonality, the third quarter could be our peak period of 2011. This would not be unusual as the third quarter is historically our strongest".

Source: http://www.vertikal.net/en/news/story/13502/

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