Strong results, continued growth in both the UK and Spain and significant increase in dividend

Northgate plc (“Northgate”, the “Company” or the “Group”), the UK and Spain’s leading specialist in light commercial vehicle hire, announces its preliminary results for the year ended 30 April 2015.

Financial Highlights

• Increase in underlying profit before tax to £85.0m (2014 – £60.3m):
o £11.4m benefit from the change in vehicle depreciation rates;
o £2.6m adverse effect of the weakening Euro;

• Increase in profit before tax to £83.0m (2014 – £51.2m);

• Increase in underlying basic earnings per share to 51.0p (2014 – 35.1p);

• Increase in basic earnings per share to 50.1p (2014 – 29.9p);

• Net debt decreased to £337.8m (April 2014 – £346.1m), benefitting from the weakening Euro rate;

• Return on capital employed increased to 13.0% (April 2014 – 9.9%);

• 45% increase in dividend per share to 14.5p (2014 – 10.0p):
o Final dividend 10.2p (2014 – 6.8p).

Operational Highlights

• Vehicles on hire growth of 1,000 in the UK since 30 April 2014 (2014 – 4,500);

• Vehicles on hire growth of 900 in Spain since 30 April 2014 (2014 – 2,600);

• Eight new sites opened in the UK since 30 April 2014;

• Average utilisation over the period of 88% in the UK (2014 – 88%) and 91% in Spain (2014 – 92%);

• Closing fleet of 56,100 in the UK (April 2014 – 53,900) and 39,400 in Spain (April 2014 – 37,800);
• Improved customer satisfaction in both the UK and Spain as measured by an increase in Net Promoter Score.

Bob Contreras, Chief Executive, commented:

“It’s been another year of progress across the Group and it’s pleasing to see this translate into a strong set of results. We remain particularly focused on targeting growth with small and medium sized customers across the UK and Spain and there have been encouraging increases in the number of vehicles on hire in both countries.

In the UK we have opened a further eight new sites which are trading in line with initial plans and we have also continued to develop and improve our vehicle sales channels, including Van Monster, which has helped to improve returns.

Finally I would like to thank Bob Mackenzie as he retires from the Chairman role. Under his leadership since 2010 the Group has more than doubled profits, greatly reduced debt and reintroduced a dividend. His guidance will be missed, but we are fortunate to be having someone of Andrew Page’s calibre stepping into the role and we look forward to delivering further returns to shareholders as we move into the next chapter for the Group.”

For further information, please contact:

Northgate plc        01325 467558

Bob Contreras, Chief Executive
Chris Muir, Group Finance Director

MHP Communications        020 3128 8100

Barnaby Fry
Simon Hockridge
Jack Holden

See the full results announcement