March 6, 2018 / 7:51 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Ashtead sees FY in line with its expectations on N. America strength

(Adds details on Q3 results, management changes)

March 6 (Reuters) - Industrial equipment rental company Ashtead Group on Tuesday forecast full-year results in line with its expectations, as third-quarter pretax profit jumped on strong growth in the company’s main North American market.

Ashtead also said Suzanne Wood planned to step down as the finance director at the end of March.

Deputy Group Finance Director Michael Pratt will succeed Wood, who has been the finance director since July 2012 and was the previously the chief financial officer of Ashtead’s North American division, Sunbelt Rentals, the company said.

Ashtead, which rents out industrial equipment on short-term contracts, said underlying pretax profit rose 26 percent to 205.1 million pounds ($283.5 million) for the three months ended Jan. 31 from a year earlier at constant currencies.

Rental revenue rose 24 percent to 845.5 million pounds at constant currencies.

Sunbelt U.S., which accounted for 84 percent of the third-quarter revenue, reported an 11 percent rise in sales at 766.1 million pounds in the period. ($1 = 0.7234 pounds) (Reporting by Esha Vaish and Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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