Speedy making progress after overcoming ‘challenging market backdrop’

Tool and plant hire group, Speedy, published annual figures today in line with its forecasts in April, with a fall in revenues, but better pre-tax profits, and significant free cash flow generation. The full year shareholder dividend remains unchanged at 2.60p per share.

Turnover in the year to March 31, 2024, dropped by 4.3% for the Newton-le-Willows-based group, to £ 421.5m, due to a “challenging market backdrop”, it said.

Its UK hire performance fell by 1.7% versus FY2023, but it enjoyed significant contract wins and renewals, including a promising pipeline of further opportunities

There was a positive performance with national customers, mitigating a softening with regional customers, together with a strong performance in customer solutions.

Speedy said the decline in the wholesale price of fuel impacted its pass through revenues, however, margin improved.

The pre-tax profit level soared by 183.3%, from £1.8m in 2023, to £5.1m in 2024.

Free cash flow generation also improved, reaching £23.5m, more than double the £10.6m from the previous year.

However, net debt, at £101.3m, increased by £8.9m, due to the acquisition of Green Power Hire (GPH), funded, in part, by the £23.5m of free cash flow.

The group’s Velocity transformation programme continues, despite the challenging market.

This involves investing in specialist business growth engines, supporting clean energy transition and commercial sustainability for customers, including £2.5m in hydrogen electric powered access with NiftyLift, and the acquisition of GPH, which is trading well with a strong pipeline of future opportunities.

The business also created the Speedy Hydrogen Solutions Limited (SHS) joint venture, which showcased the first H-Power Generator at the Speedy Hire Live Expo in March.

Today’s announcement revealed that the new financial year has started well and is marginally ahead of last year.

The overall performance is in line with board expectations, operational efficiencies and supply chain optimisation is expected to deliver further benefit in FY2025, while the group expects a second half weighting to its revenues and profits as it mobilises the significant contracts won in FY2024.

It said contract wins and extensions, alongside key sector opportunities, give it confidence for FY2025.

Dan Evans

Chief executive, Dan Evans, said: “Speedy delivered a resilient financial performance, making positive strategic progress over the year, despite the challenging macro-economic environment.

“We continue to improve our customer proposition, investing in technology and AI capabilities, sustainable products and our people, to position the group strongly for profitable growth.

“I am particularly pleased with our progress building the foundations for growth, executing the ‘Enable’ phase of our Velocity strategy, which is focused on transformation and operational efficiency.”

He added: “The new financial year has started well with performance in line with board expectations and I am pleased that since the year end, we have also secured further contract wins and renewals with key customers.”

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