Kimberly looks to acquisitions after £4m order

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Kimberly Group, which specialises in the rental of powered access equipment, is poised for growth after placing a £4 million order of machines.

The Harrogate company has ordered 69 boom machines from its supplier Genie, bringing its fleet to nearly 2,500 units.

It is the largest ever order of machines by the group, which is private equity backed, and positions it for expansion.

Ray Ledger, Kimberly’s chairman, said the business was on the acquisition trail to increase its geographical coverage and would be looking at a possible flotation on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) to help fund further growth.

He said the rental market for powered access equipment had “mushroomed” following the tightening up of health and safety regulations around working at height. Two years ago, Kimberly Group decided to specialise in large equipment, alongside its normal range. Mr Ledger said: “We’ve found ourselves a niche in the market.”

Mr Ledger expects Kimberly Group to turn over £23 million in 2012, up from £15 million in 2011, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation of £6.5 million. The group acquired High Level Platforms in Dorset early last year, having just bought 1st Access Rentals in Scotland.

Kimberly Group has around 6,000 customers across sectors including construction, industrial plants and window cleaners. Mr Ledger said the retail sector had proved a “massive” market for the company over the last three years. It recently supplied 450 machines for work on Westfield’s White City shopping centre in West London, and 400 units for work at Westfield’s Stratford City shopping centre on the Olympic site in East London.

The business, which has a national depot network of ten sites, has a total workforce of over 100. Eight more appointments are expected following the recent establishment of a depot in Pontefract.

Mr Ledger added: “The strength of our business is that we are not reliant on any one customer.”