The tool hire specialist would have posted a pre-tax profit for the period of £2.8m, but exceptional items dragged it into the red.
Revenue was £161.8m, compared to £177.3m for the same period a year ago.
The firm said its “focus on cash, costs and capital expenditure, combined with the proceeds from the disposal of the accommodation operation, has resulted in a £40.1m improvement in cash”.
Speedy said its yield in the UK business was up 7%, and utilisation has also “continued to improve”. After the disposal of the loss making accommodation operation for net £33.4m in April 2011, all its UK hire operations are now profitable.
During the six months to 30 September 2011, its UK business focused on developing opportunities in the regulated markets of water, waste, energy and transport.
It has framework agreements with companies such as Welsh Water and Thames Water, contract extensions with United Utilities and South East Water, and new business such as a contract with Enserve.
In London, whilst activity at the Olympic site has peaked, Speedy's operational team has shifted focus to Crossrail, where it has agreements with the contractors such as Carillion and BAM.
The firm has opened an additional three superstores during the period, increasing the total number to 12.
“Investment in property and IT provides opportunities to deliver further improvement and drive margin growth as well as providing increasing asset transparency and improved capital efficiency. Our focus going forward is on driving the continued recovery of the UK business through delivery of further operational efficiency. The board remains confident of the group meeting its expectations for the financial year.”