Hire firm driving ahead with site expansion plan

Vehicle hire company Northgate Plc is further expanding its presence in London after seeing a strong 9% rise in UK rentals

Vehicle rental firm Northgate Plc
Vehicle rental firm Northgate Plc

Vehicle hire company Northgate Plc is further expanding its presence in London after seeing a strong 9% rise in UK rentals.

The Darlington-headquartered firm, which employs more than 2,600 people in its UK, Republic of Ireland and Spain operations, has published its interim statement covering the period from November 1, 2013 to March 12, 2014, informing shareholders that it is to open a further four to six sites in London over the next six months. The company, which rents light commercial vehicles and sells a range of fleet products to businesses, has 94 sites across UK and Spain, and last year embarked on a growth strategy to extend its coverage in the south of England.

Having grown in the North East, with headquarters in County Durham and sites in Wallsend, Stockton and Blaydon, the firm is well-established in the region but wanted to increase its representation in the South East and M25 area into London.

Across the UK, vehicles on hire have risen by 1,100 during the period, to 47,000, from 45,900 at October 31, 2013. This compares to a fall of 900 in the same period last year. Overall, rentals rose by 3,900, up 9% since April 30 last year, and the fleet size has also grown, from 52,800 at October 31, 2013 to 53,200.

The business said it has experienced a seasonal impact as expected, but it was a reduced rate compared to last year. In Spain, where the firm has 23 sites, rentals dropped by 500 during the period, to 32,800. This compares to a fall of 800 in the same period last year.

Vehicles on hire have risen by 700, an increase of 2% since April 30 last year.

The company said: “Vehicles on hire continue to grow in the UK, with signs of stabilisation in Spain.

“The growth from the new sites opened is ahead of our expectations and we will continue to invest in new sites that provide the required levels of return.

“The group continues to trade in line with our expectations and the strong financial position of the group remains unchanged.”

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