Power lifts firm posts 'disappointing' ME results

Rapid Platform's UK parent says weaknesses in Dubai and Qatar

Rapid is focusing on KSA and Abu Dhabi
Rapid is focusing on KSA and Abu Dhabi


UK-based Lavendon Group, a major player in the powered lifting equipment industry, said on Friday that its performance in the Middle East had been "disappointing" in the first half of the year.

The company which operates as Rapid in the region, said rental revenues had returned to year on year growth on a monthly basis during the second quarter but "weaknesses" were still being seen in Dubai and Qatar.

It added that the rental revenue growth in Q2 was principally driven by increased activity levels in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

"Whilst visibility of short-term demand remains uncertain, it is clear that the region's major opportunities lie in the markets of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, where a number of large-scale, long-term projects are now underway," the firm said in a statement.

As a result, it said, it was redistributing part of the region's fleet and personnel into Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi "to increase our capacity to benefit from these growth markets".

Total local currency revenues for the first half of 2011, including the sale of new equipment, declined by 10 percent, when converted to British pounds, to £13.2m ($21.5m).

Lavendon rents equipment to enable people to work safely and productively at height, both inside and outside buildings and structures.

The Group has operations in the UK, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.

The equipment fleet totals almost 21,000 units and the Group employs over 1,650 people.

Overall, the Group's total revenues for the six months to June 30 increased by four percent to £110.1m.

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