Construction News

Sun May 31 2020

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Field hospitals help Speedy revenue tick over

9 Apr Tool hire group Speedy is continuing to generate revenue and support contractors that need its services but with a much reduced network.

Speedy has furloughed half of its employees and closed all of its stores to customer visits. However, its larger superstores are still trading through digital platforms or by telephone.

Some 1,725 Speedy staff have been temporarily laid off (furloughed) under the UK government's coronavirus job protection scheme and in Ireland under the Irish government's wage subsidy scheme. Other employees, where possible, are working from home.

Speedy has taken advantage of government support initiatives, including payroll support for furloughed staff, business rates relief, and a reduction, or deferral, in taxes payable.

Overall, Speedy reckons it can cope. While demand for certain products and services has reduced, many projects are continuing, it says, and new opportunities are emerging – such as the development of emergency field hospitals.

As a result, Speedy has retained ‘a substantial proportion of its revenues entering its new financial year’, the board said.

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In addition, its fleet is young enough to get away with slashing capital expenditure in the financial year 2020/21, it added.

Speedy’s net debt at 31st March 2020 was £80m, which is well within its £180m borrowing limits.

Chief executive Russell Down said: "Speedy has an important role in supporting the delivery of customers' projects and particularly those providing essential services at this critical time. We are proud to be supporting several Covid-19 related projects, including the establishment of the Nightingale hospitals, and have offered our four-hour delivery service free to all NHS providers.

“We have taken significant measures to protect our financial position whilst preserving our ability to continue trading and to respond quickly to changing market conditions. Over the medium term we remain well positioned to benefit as normal trading conditions resume.”

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