Speedy Hire ‘delighted’ with annual performance

Speedy Hire

Speedy Hire bosses expressed their delight with this year’s annual results today, as the Newton-le-Willows tool hire group continues its recovery.

Revenues, excluding disposals, rose 6.4% to £371.6m, with overall revenues rising by 2.2% to £377.4m.

Profit before tax improved by a healthy 25% to £18m, and the adjusted pre-tax profit of £25.9m was a 59.9% improvement.

Shareholders will receive a full year dividend of 1.65p per share, compared with 1p last year.

Throughout the year, to March 31, the group acquired Prolift Access, and Platform Sales & Hire, to strengthen its national powered access offering.

Net debt reduced to £69.4m, from £71.4m, after expenditure of £21.3m for the acquisitions of Prolift and PSHL.

Net exceptional items totalled £7.7m before taxation, compared with nil last year.

Property related costs of £4.7m were incurred as part of the programme to reduce operating divisions and distribution centres. In addition, £1.3m of ‘people costs’ have been incurred due to redundancies, although these actions result in overhead savings of around £3.m per annum.

Speedy Hire was a supplier to Carillion, which entered compulsory liquidation on January 15, and an exceptional charge of £2.1m has been recognised in relation to trade receivables and asset-related provisions, which the group said is considered reasonable, based on current circumstances.

The group said its asset utilisation in the UK and Ireland improved by 7.6% to 55.4%, while the average age of its hire fleet reduced to 3.8 years from 4.2 in 2017.

It continues to have a strong balance sheet, with net assets at March 31, totalling £197.8m, compared with £189.6 last year.

Also, the customer excellence strategy is driving sustainable profitable growth, the group said, while the same day customer delivery promise launched in London during January 2018 is now available nationally.

Chief executive Russell Down said today: “We are delighted with these results which reflect a strong operational performance, robust capital management, the benefits of the strategy which was launched in September 2015, the impact of our recovery initiatives and some earlier than expected acquisition synergies.

“The market remains competitive; however the current year has got off to an encouraging start with revenue ahead of the comparative period on a like-for-like basis.

“Whilst we are early into the new financial year, and some of the benefits from the acquisitions have been realised, we are confident of delivering further progress in the year ahead in line with our current expectations.”

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