Morris Leslie poised for further growth after posting strong financial results

MORRIS Leslie Plant Hire is gearing up for further growth following an ‘excellent’ set of financial results, which revealed a rise in both revenues and pre-tax profits.

The Perthshire-headquartered business posted revenues of £49.121 million in 2022/23, an increase of over 10% from the previous year’s £44.4 million. Profits before tax increased to £11.503 million (2021/22: £10.543 million). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 12.4% to £33.8 million.

Despite the challenging economic climate, Morris Leslie revealed it has delivered the impressive results on the back of improved hire rates and increased utilisation levels coupled with a ‘strong’ performance from the sales division both in the UK and overseas.

The assets and business of Harborough Hire Centre was purchased in March 2023, increasing the branch network to 15 sites and strengthening the company’s position in the Midlands.

The Morris Leslie Group overall, whose activities include the hire and sale of plant machinery and equipment, provision of self-storage facilities, as well as renting of commercial and residential properties and auction of vehicles, delivered turnover of £72.76 million. This was 1% ahead of the previous year. Profits before tax were £12.444 million (2021/22: £12.710 million).

Highlights from the year included placing an order for £87.5 million worth of machines with JCB. The deal was the largest UK deal in JCB’s history and included over 1,000 machines, including 50 backhoe loaders.

The group is set to mark its 50th year of trading this year since the founding chairman, Morris Leslie, started trading in used equipment sales in 1974.

Morris Leslie Group continues to support jobs in Scotland and across the UK, with over 300 staff operating across 19 sites.

Graham Ogilvie, Morris Leslie Ltd group operations director & MD Morris Leslie Plant Hire Ltd, said, “Despite challenging economic conditions, we are delighted to see these positive figures in our annual accounts which supports our continued investment in the expansion of the group. The investment in the plant hire business has allowed us to create the largest most modern fuel-efficient fleet of Tier V machines in the UK market.

“Our property and auction businesses are all trading well in challenging market conditions. We would like to thank those who continue to trust us with their business, and also our hard-working colleagues who continue to deliver a first-class service to our customers.

“As a group, we look forward to 2024 which also marks our half-century of trading, with renewed confidence and determination as our global reputation continues to grow.”