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Thu September 19 2019

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Platforms sale puts HSS into profit

5 Sep The sale of its powered access division helped HSS Hire Group show a profit for the first half of 2019 but the continuing operations are still losing money.

For the six months to 30th June 2019 HSS made a loss before tax of £7.4m, which is a 28% reduction on the £10.2m loss of the first half of 2018.

But factor in the  profit booked on the sale of UK Platforms to Nationwide Platforms (Loxam) in January, and HSS was able to show a bottom-line profit for the period of £7.6m.

Group revenue for the first half was up nearly 4% to £161.4m (2018 H1: £155.4m).

Return on capital employed improved from 4.9% to 21.7% and net debt during the period was reduced by £52.7m to £186.0m.

Chief executive Steve Ashmore said: "I am pleased to report a solid performance for the first half of 2019 in which the continued focus on driving profitable revenue growth through strong price control and effective cost management led to a significant improvement in return on capital and a further reduction in leverage."

HSS has not made any profits since its 2015 stock market listing. It has made successive pre-tax losses of £14m in 2015, £17m in 2016, £85m in 2017 and £4.5m in 2018. Since that time its share price has fallen from more than £2 to around 30 pence.

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