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Construction upturn leaves Speedy behind

17 Oct 13 The upturn in UK construction appears to have failed to bring any benefit to Speedy Hire.

Speedy saw its group sales shrink by 0.1% in the six months ending 30 September 2013, compared to the same period last year.

Excluding the growing international division, revenue from the UK and Ireland fell by 2.1% in the half-year.

Speedy, which claims to be the UK's largest provider of tools and equipment services, said in a trading update today that it had “yet to see any material improvement in construction work”.

Chief executive Steve Corcoran was confident that his strategy of diversifying to new countries and new non-construction markets was working, however. He said: "Whilst the UK market, particularly in construction, remains challenging, our strategy to diversify the group's revenues to secure both hire and service agreements from companies in non-construction related activities and internationally in the MENA [Middle East and North Africa] region is generating results.  With an improving trend in the UK and Ireland in Q2 and a strong H1 performance in the International division, the group continues to trade in line with the board's expectations and remains well positioned to benefit from the future UK recovery supported by a conservative balance sheet."

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