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Fri May 07 2021

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Speedy returns to profit

16 May 17 After the boardroom battles and heavy losses that characterised 2016 at tool hire giant Speedy, 2017 has seen stability and profits return.

Speedy chief executive Russell Down
Speedy chief executive Russell Down

For the year ended 31 March 2017 Speedy Hire has reported a pre-tax profit of £14.4m, compared to a £57.6m loss the previous year. Revenue increased 12% to £369.4m (2016: £329.1m).

Net debt has been brought down during the year from £102.6m to £71.4m and return on capital employed (ROCE) has improved form 3.2% to 7.7%. Excluding disposals, ROCE was 8.4% (2016: 3.0%).

Chairman Jan Åstrand, who survived a shareholder revolt last year that attempted to oust him and merge Speedy with HSS, said: “I am pleased to report that the actions undertaken by management have enabled us to report substantially improved results; revenue and profits have increased, the hire fleet has been reduced, utilisation rates increased, and net debt has fallen significantly. The business has been stabilised and we have created a solid platform for the future.

“Having previously identified the underlying issues that had affected the group's performance last year, management has improved engineering efficiency, addressed equipment availability, structured the sales force to ensure that we address large and SME customers alike, embedded ownership and accountability at a regional level, and invested in upgrades to our IT and management information systems; all of which have led to improved business performance.

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“Customer focussed initiatives were launched to improve responsiveness and service levels, including customer surveys, and these have also made a major contribution to our strong performance.”

Chief executive Russell Down, architect of the turnaround, said: "These results demonstrate the success of our turnaround plan with significant improvements across all financial and operational performance measures.

“Whilst we have made a solid start to the year, the market remains competitive.  With the business now stabilised and a strong balance sheet, we are well positioned to take advantage of market opportunities and continue to deliver sustainable profitable growth."

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