Revenues have improved but losses continued at UK rental company HSS Hire.

It reported a first half gross loss of £9.8 million (€11.6 million), albeit an improvement on the loss of £14.1 million (€16.6 million) it reported for the six months to the end of June, 2015.

Revenues also grew 13.5% year-on-year to £166 million (€196 million), thanks to increases in key accounts and services, according to the company.

HSS Hire – which was recently in talks over a potential merger with Speedy Hire - has also worked hard to optimise its distribution and branch network.

It said its new National Distribution and Engineering Centre now supported 50% of its network, with its ramp-up for nationwide coverage on track for completion by the end of 2016.

The company added that it had opened eight new branches over the period, and relocated or refurbished nine branches, and closed four.

CEO John Gill said, “I’m pleased to report strong revenue and underlying profit growth in the first half of the year reflecting the positive impacts of our revised strategy. Customers are increasingly seeing HSS as a single source provider of tools, equipment and related services and our trading growth reflects this.

“Our focus on capital and operational efficiency shows through in our utilisation rates and our EBITA margin, both of which have continued to improve through the second half.

“We are confident our new National Distribution and Engineering Centre will position us well for scale and volume growth and, combined with our e-commerce platform and national branch footprint will further enhance our customer proposition by transforming availability within our sector.”

Looking ahead, HSS Hire said current trading in the third quarter was ahead of the same point last year.

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