Vp enjoyed a winter of content

EQUIPMENT rental group Vp said it is trading in line with expectations, as sustained infrastructure demand makes up for weak construction markets.

The Harrogate-based group said trading through winter was “satisfactory”, and it expects to report profits for the year to the end of March in line with expectations.

Vp rents out equipment ranging from hydraulic ground supports capable of holding up to 500 tonnes to temporary aluminium roadways to powered hand tools.

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It said while there has been “no tangible improvement” in market conditions, most sectors have remained stable.

“A sustained demand from regulated infrastructure markets has continued to provide a solid base for the group, in the face of soft general construction demand,” it said. “Optimisation of the performance of Vp’s existing specialist activities remains the board’s priority and the group continues to invest in support of secured opportunities as they arise.”

Despite weakness in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, Vp said it has won LNG contracts in the Asia Pacific region.

Vp has rebounded strongly from its 2009/10 trough, when revenues plunged 15 per cent to £134.2m and it was forced to cut costs, including shedding eight per cent of its workforce, freeze wages, reduce its fleet and close a handful of depots. It now employs about 1,650 staff across the group, including around 100 at its Harrogate headquarters.

Vp is forecast to be a £167m turnover company by the end of March.