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HSS returns to profit

25 Apr 14 Plant and tool hire group HSS Hire has reported a 24% increase in its revenues for 2013 and returned to profit.

HSS saw its revenues reach £226m last year, up from £182m in 2012.

Pre-tax profit was a modest £300,000, turning around 2012’s pre-tax loss of £17.0m.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 36% to £55m (2012: £40m).

Growth was helped by acquisitions. In June 2013 HSS took over the powered access hire firm UK Platforms from the French platform manufacturer Haulotte. In October 2012 power solutions provider ABird became part of the HSS Hire Group.

Capital expenditure in 2013 was £38.0m, up from £26.3m in 2012, and the branch network expanded during the year from 233 to 245.

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In February 2014, HSS completed a refinancing of the business, offering £200m in aggregate principal amount of 6.75% senior secured notes due 2019. It also secured a £60m revolving credit facility to provide liquidity for future investment and business development.

On 31 March HSS acquired Scottish generator hire company Apex Generators.

At the newly added UK Platforms, division, HSS has begun a programme of fitting its boom lifts with Haulotte’s anti-entrapment technology.

HSS Hire Group chairman Alan Peterson said: “2013 was a strong year for HSS. The team achieved strong organic growth across all our customer groups, product ranges, geographies and services; this was complemented by our strategy to acquire promising specialist businesses whilst also reinvesting in our future growth. We are confident that we will continue to enhance value by achieving our target of occupying number one or two positions in our key markets. At the same time, we will continue to monitor opportunities to add further growth and value through selective acquisitions.”

CEO Chris Davies added: “I am pleased with the financial performance during 2013. Over the last 12 months we have continued to deliver on our targets and produce industry-leading return on assets. This strong performance is the result of our highly diversified customer base and focus on growth over the long-term – underpinned by a consistent strategy of optimising the network, driving operational efficiency, investing in people and systems and delivering added-value services.”

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