Fleet News

Northgate gets net benefit from home shopping boom

LIGHT commercial vehicle rental specialist Northgate is on track to double the size of the business by 2004 with expansion fuelled by the growth of home shopping trade through the internet and cable television. The company has seen its fleet increase 22% in the last year from 26,600 vehicles to 32,500 units with pre-tax profits up 46% to £24.3 million (1999: £16.6 million) on turnover of £260.79 million (1999: £218.62 million) for the year to April 30.

Northgate chairman Michael Waring said: 'Last year we embarked on a five-year strategy for growth in which our stated aim was to double the size of the business. Since January we have seen an improvement in underlying hire rates. With demand for our hire product, Norflex, remaining strong, prospects for the future remain very encouraging.'

Currently operating from 35 hire companies and nine branches, Northgate's five-year plan will see it operate from 100 locations. Vehicle utilisation levels in the last year have been maintained at about 90%.

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