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Wed May 22 2024

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Speedy Hire back in the black

16 May 12 Speedy Hire has bounced back from a disappointing £27m loss in 2011 with a £3.2m pre-tax profit for the year to March 2012.

Revenue was down from £354.2m to £329.3m.

The hire firm reduced debt by £37.6m to £76.3m (2011: £113.9m).

The UK & Ireland business recorded an operating profit (before amortisation and exceptional items) of £27.8m, with an operating margin of 8.7%.

Chief executive Steve Corcoran said prevailing market conditions in the UK remained “difficult” with “considerable cost pressures from fuel, business rates and insurance costs”.

During the year, Speedy completed the disposal of its loss-making accommodation hire operation for £33.4m in cash.

The hirer secured a three-year contract extension with Carillion, a five-year partnering contract with Morgan Sindall, and a two-year preferred supplier status by Renew Plc.

It has concentrated on its 'One Speedy', serving all customers via a single trading account.

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The majority of the Group's revenues are still derived from its UK hire activities. This is now focused on the hire of four distinct asset classes: lifting, power, survey and general tools and equipment. It also provides services in training, TRIM (test, repair, inspect and maintain) and engineering (specialist on-site and rail market support).

Since February 2010, Speedy has operated in the Middle East. This business posted a loss before tax of £0.7m for the full year period, though Corcoran said the business was profitable at an operating level in the second half of the financial year.

“We are pleased with the progress made in 25 months and expect the second half-year performance to be the catalyst for continued growth as we build critical mass,” he said. “Over time our expectation is for the International operations to provide operating margins, returns and cash contribution above historic UK levels.”

Corcoran concluded: “Whilst the UK economy remains fragile, our markets are now much more diverse than general construction. The business has an increasing exposure to the regulated and privately funded infrastructure investment markets and in particular those customers and end users active in social infrastructure and the water, waste, energy and transport sectors.

“We have also establised a solid foundation in our International operation which we are confident will provide a good platform going forward. We believe that our focus on well-funded sectors and our more diversified approach will continue to make our business more robust, profitable and sustainable.

“Whilst we expect to see some short term disruption from the additional public holiday associated with the Queen's Jubilee and from the restrictions imposed upon logistics in London during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I am confident that our business will deliver another year of continued progress.”

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