Strong First Quarter Powers Aggreko


LONDON -- FTSE 100 company Aggreko saw a boost in its share price this morning following a positive interim management statement, gaining 1.6% in early trade to reach 1,789 pence.

The world's largest temporary power generation supplier announced that underlying group revenues grew 8% in the first three months of the year (excluding revenues from the London Olympics, the Poit Energia acquisition, pass-through fuel and currency movements), while trading margins were in line with expectations, and the outlook remains the same from previous guidance.

The firm revealed that local business saw a 17% increase of power on rent in the quarter year on year as Q1 underlying revenues rose 10%, with "most areas other than Europe showing healthy year-on-year increases in MW on hire".

Order intake was enhanced by big contracts (or Power Projects) -- including 122 MW of cross-border power to Namibia and Mozambique, and a new heavy fuel oil contract for 56 MW in the Caribbean -- and underlying revenues were 5% ahead of last year. Elsewhere, the Americas grew underlying revenues by 9%; Asia, Pacific and Australia was 1% ahead of last year; and Europe, Middle East and Africa grew 13%.

Management confirmed intentions to spend around £130 million in the first half on fleet capital expenditure, and around £260 million for the year as a whole, although "as always we will increase or decrease our rate of investment depending on market conditions". Net debt increased £4 million to £597 million in the quarter and £169 million against the same period last year, but that's taking into account the £139 million Poit Energia purchase with the rest attributed to "higher working capital requirements".

Last month Aggreko lifted its full-year dividend by 15%, but despite moving in the right direction -- the firm's dividend payout has risen for five years straight now -- it still yields less than 1.5%, while it's on a fairly costly valuations of 20 times earnings... neither hugely appealing to income or value investors alike.

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