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Triple Success For A-Plant At The Uks Number One Business Awards

A-Plant has scooped the CMI Customer Focus Award for the third year running.

In a remarkable run of success, leading hire company A-Plant has scooped the CMI Customer Focus Award for the third year running at the UK's 'Business Oscars'. A-Plant won the coveted award at the National Business Awards North West Regional Finals 2008 hosted at the ACC in Liverpool, attended by more than 500 VIP's and business leaders.

That wasn't the only success for A-Plant on the night as the company was also declared winner of the 3i Growth Strategy of the Year Award in recognition of A-Plant's organic growth strategy to achieve outstanding levels of sales, profit and market share improvement.

A-Plant - which has its headquarters in Warrington, Cheshire, employs over 2,000 people and hires out Plant, Tools and Specialist Equipment from over 200 depots nationwide - recently celebrated exceptional financial results for its 2007/8 financial year, achieving turnover of 214.8 million and increasing operating profits by 46% to 30.2 million. A-Plant forms part of FTSE-250 company Ashtead Group plc which achieved annual Group turnover of more than 1 billion.

The National Business Awards celebrate the cream of UK enterprise and have been described by Gordon Brown as the UK's 'Business Oscars'. Stringently judged by a panel of over 175 judges, all recognised luminaries in their respective fields, the National Business Awards programme is considered to be the benchmark of UK business and the underlying criteria are success, innovation and ethics.

As winner of the CMI Customer Focus Award and the 3i Growth Strategy of the Year Award, A-Plant automatically goes through to the National Business Awards Final hosted in London in November. A-Plant was also one of four finalists in two other categories at the National Business Awards North West Regional Finals - the Orange Best Use of Technology in Business Award and the Badenoch and Clark Business of the Year Award.

A-Plant's Marketing Director Asif Latief said: "Customers form the heart of A-Plant and we've worked hard to create a 'Customer First Culture' throughout our company so it's especially rewarding to receive the Customer Focus Award for the third year on the trot. National Business Awards are amongst the UK's most sought after, cross-industry business accolades so we're naturally delighted with our success."

Jo Causen, Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs and sponsor of the CMI Customer Focus Award said: "I am delighted that A-Plant has managed to beat off stiff competition to be crowned a worthy North West regional winner of the CMI Customer Focus Award."

Gordon Hague, Investment Director, 3i and North West regional judge said: "The 3i Growth Strategy of the Year Award was very competitive this year. A-Plant has proved itself to be a true market leader. It has a fantastic approach to customer service and this, with the significant investment in its distribution network, has helped to drive growth well ahead of its competitors. This is why my fellow judges and I believe it to be a worthy winner of this award."

A-Plant has some 30,000 customers in the construction and industrial markets and has over 110,000 items of Plant, Tools and Specialist Equipment available to hire - ranging from large plant such as Dumpers, Excavators and Telehandlers, to smaller equipment including Air Powered Tools, Heaters and Lifting Equipment and specialist equipment such as Powered Access Machines, Accommodation Units and Traffic Control and Management Products.