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Ashtead share price rallies as chief executive decides to step down

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Shares in Ashtead (LON:AHT) have climbed higher in London in today’s session as the company announced that its chief executive officer had decided to step down. The news comes as Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever (LON:ULVR) also revealed a change at the top this morning.

As of 09:51 GMT, Ashtead’s share price had added 3.76 percent to 1,792.50p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.78 percent higher at 7,059.39 points. The group’s shares have lost nearly eight percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 4.5-percent dip in the Footsie.

Ashtead CEO steps down

Ashtead announced in a statement this morning that its chief executive Geoff Drabble had decided to step down from his role at the end of the current financial year on May 1, and to retire from the group on November 30 next year. He will be succeeded on May 1 by  Brendan Horgan, currently Ashtead’s chief operating officer and CEO of Sunbelt Rentals, the group North American business which accounted for 87 percent of the company’s revenue in the last financial year. 

“I would like to congratulate Brendan on his well-deserved promotion to Chief Executive of the Group,” Ashtead’s chairman Paul Walker commented in the statement, adding that Horgan had played “a key role in developing and executing Sunbelt's roll out strategy across North America”.

Analysts on FTSE 100 group

The 16 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Ashtead for the Financial Times have a median target of 2,500.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 2,800.00p and a low estimate of 1,700.00p. As of November 24, the consensus forecast amongst 17 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market. 

As of 10:01 GMT, Thursday, 29 November, Ashtead Group plc share price is 1,791.50p.

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