Aggreko said events such as the Vancouver Winter Olympics and the soccer World Cup, for which it provided generators and chillers, brought its Local Business unit £48m ($74m) in revenues in the first half.
“We believe that we will make further good progress in the second half and the outcome for the year as a whole will be slightly better than our previous expectations,” Chairman Philip Rogerson said in a statement.
“What’s led us to nudge our views forward is that our local business seems to be over the worst and rates, which took a hammering last year, are coming back up”, CEO Soames told reporters.
A Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of analysts taken before the results showed a mean estimate of £285m ($440m) for 2010 pretax profit.
Bit of a desert
The company, which is supplying cooling and power equipment to people cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on the Louisiana coast, said it also planned to raise the interim and final dividend by 50 percent each to reflect recent profit growth.
The company saw record orders for its International Power business, which provides temporary power stations mainly to developing countries, signing contracts for 860 megawatts in 18 countries in the first half.
While demand for temporary power in emerging countries is set to remain good, Aggreko’s local business is unlikely to benefit from such high-profile events contracts in 2011.
“Nearly all the big events happen in even numbered years so next year will be a bit of a desert,” said CEO Soames, who is a fan of the Glastonbury music festival for which Aggreko supplies generators.
For the six months to the end of June, underlying trading profit rose 23 percent to £131.2m ($202m) on revenue up 17 percent at £585.6m.
Pretax profit rose 19 percent to £127.1m and the interim dividend is being increased to 6.55 pence.