At £1.73bn the annual revenue figure was up 4% (though that excludes currency and pass through fuel impacts), meanwhile, operating profit was down 10%. The temporary power generator group reported a £195mln profit before tax and exceptional items, which was in line with expectations and compared to £221mln in 2016.
Aggreko told investors that it will maintain its dividend at 27.12p per share, as it highlighted stronger cash flow – at £450mln in 2017 versus £388mln in 2016. It also highlighted that the financial position remains strong, with the net debt to EBITDA ratio of 1.2 times maintained from the preceding year.
At the same time, however, it guided that the current year’s performance will be consistent with 2017 which effectively represents a downgrade compared to market expectations.
UBS analyst Rory McKenzie suggested it ‘could imply a double-digit downgrade’ to the consensus profit forecast of £202mln.
“Although largely FX-driven, we think consensus downgrades are likely to be significant,” McKenzie said in a note.
Aggreko shares were down 50.2p or 6.8% changing hands at 673.8p.
Utilities division held group back
Chief executive Chris Weston pointed to strong performances in Aggreko’s rental and industrial power solutions businesses, but, acknowledged that the power solutions utility division has held back the group performance.
"Over the last three years we have stabilised the business, enhanced our service offering and positioned ourselves to prosper in rapidly changing energy markets,” Weston said in the results statement.
“We have delivered over £100mln in cost savings, invested in new systems and processes and developed new technology, all of which enables us to provide high quality solutions for customers.”