International projects are being targeted by UK rental company Baldwins Industrial Services, chairman and chief executive Richard Baldwin has said.

Growth in all areas of activity ensured a 31% rise in pre-tax profits to £5.4m ($8.6m) for the year to 31 March 1999. Sales were up 23% to £35.3m ($56.5m). Net debt at year end stood at nearly £43m ($669m), compared with £38m a year previously.

Baldwins floated on the London stock exchange in July last year, since when it has opened seven new depots and acquired lifting equipment supplier Loadtite.

Said the chairman: “Trading is good and we are very confident that our crane support services businesses will continue to produce pleasing results in 1999. We see our international business substantially increasing during 1999.” Overseas support service contracts were undertaken in Ireland, France, Greece, Norway, Poland and Trinidad during the year.

Cranes acquired include a pair of 1,000t Demag crawlers from Chernobyl in Ukraine. One has already been decontaminated and refurbished and has been working in Spain. The other will be ready by December, the company said.