RNS Number:4188Q
Northgate PLC
19 March 2008

19 March 2008



Northgate plc ("Northgate", the "Company" or the "Group"), the UK and Spain's
leading specialist in light commercial vehicle hire, publishes its Interim
Management Statement covering the period 1 November 2007 to 18 March 2008.

The Group remains on track to achieve its financial objectives for the current

Philip Rogerson, Chairman, said:

"We continue to make good progress against the targets set out in our strategic
plan and expect the outcome for the year to be in line with current market


The continuation of good utilisation levels, with a relatively stable hire rate
environment and strong residual values, are contributing to an operating margin
in line with the prior year. As in previous years, the fleet declined in January
due to a tightening of utilisation following the Christmas holiday period.
Growth has resumed and we anticipate that, by the end of the financial year, we
will be close to our target fleet size.


The fleet in Spain continues to grow, with our expectation being that fleet
growth for the year will be around 12%.

Residual values have been lower than in the first six months and development of
our structure for used vehicle disposals remains a priority. Planned activities
include creating new sales channels in Spain and an export capability.

Our other key performance indicators, including utilisation and hire rates, are
broadly in line with our objectives and have produced an improvement in the
operating margin over the prior year.

New Territories

Talks continue to progress with a select number of target companies in
continental Europe, generally of individually small size. Whilst we do not
expect that a transaction will be effected by the end of the financial year on
30 April 2008, we hope to be in a position to report progress within the next
few months.


As at 29 February, net debt has increased to £865m principally due to the
exchange rate movement on our euro debt. With facilities of £1,080m, we have
significant headroom both to finance the needs of the existing business, and for
future expansion.

The proportion of the Group's net debt with fixed interest rates at 29 February
2008 was 67%, similar to the position at 31 October 2007.


Our markets in the UK and Spain remain satisfactory and our local intelligence
currently does not give any suggestion of material change. We remain confident
that our proven business model has the flexibility to react quickly and
effectively to any change in market conditions.

We continue to make good progress and expect our financial results for the year
to be in line with current market expectations.

For further information, please contact:

Northgate plc 01325 467558
Steve Smith, Chief Executive

Hogarth Partnership Limited 020 7357 9477
Andrew Jaques
Barnaby Fry
Anthony Arthur

Notes to Editors:

Northgate plc rents light commercial vehicles and sells a range of fleet
products to businesses via a network of hire companies in the UK, Republic of
Ireland and Spain. Its NORFLEX product gives businesses access to a flexible
method to acquire as many commercial vehicles as they need, without tying up
capital or entering a fixed term contract.

Further information regarding Northgate plc can be found on the Company's


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