A third of Speedy Hire’s workforce remains on furough as the UK rental company reported trading activity steadily improving through May and June. Revenues were down 35% in April year-on-year and improved in May and early June, with sales for the week ended 5 June 17% lower than the same period in 2019.

Speedy hire

Speedy also announced that its group finance director Chris Morgan is to step down on 31 July 2020. The change coincided with a separate trading update in which Speedy said its training business Geason received in April a claim from a funding agency alleging poor financial controls and overpayments of up to £2.6 million for a three year period beginning in August 2017. Speedy said it was investigating the claim. 

Geason was acquired by Speedy for £9 million in December 2018 and accounts for approximately 2% of revenues.

In the trading update Speedy said group revenues in April were down 35% on the same period in the previous year because of reduced activity and suspensions of rental contracts brought about by Covid-19. At the peak in April Speedy furloughed approximately 50% of its UK and Ireland workforce, and a third - about 1,200 employees - remain on furlough.

As the Covid-19 crisis began to unfold, Speedy took action to manage revenues, contain costs and preserve cash. Citing a strong balance sheet and substantial unutilised banking facilities, Speedy said it remains confident that it can operate within its existing debt facilities and covenant tests during a prolonged period of reduced trading activity.

All guidance for the year ahead remains suspended due to the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

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