Nov 20 (Reuters) – British equipment rental firm Ashtead Group (AHT.L) on Monday said its annual profit would come in below market expectations as lower emergency response activity dragged its U.S. business and the company expects to take a more than $2 billion depreciation charge for the year.
The London-listed company cited various reasons for its downbeat outlook, including lower levels of emergency response activity with a much quieter hurricane season, and fewer naturally occurring events, such as wildfires.
The FTSE 100 company, which competes with the likes of United Rentals (URI.N) in the United States, serves construction, emergency response as well as entertainment markets in the U.S., UK and Canada, renting out equipment ranging from diggers to construction tools.
The impact of the Hollywood actors’ and writer’s strikes, which hurt its film and television business in Canada, have persisted longer than anticipated with some impact on the rest of the Canadian, U.S. and UK businesses that rent into that space, Ashtead said in a statement.
The company trades under the name Sunbelt Rentals in the United States, its largest market.
Ashtead lowered its annual group and U.S. rental revenue growth forecast to 11%-13% from 13%-16% and said net interest costs would amount to about $540 million for the year.
Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami