Speedy confirms missing £4.8m in Middle East business

By Murray Pollok28 February 2014

Speedy Hire has confirmed that the £4.8 million missing from its Middle East business was the result of deliberate actions of a small number of employees who have now left the business.

The company said £2.7 million of the £4.8 million will be accounted for in the current financial year, with the balance in previous years.

Speedy will not identify the individuals involved, nor has it described any further legal actions that might be taking place. A spokesman for the company said that was a matter for the police authorities.

Since the accounting regularities were revealed last November Speedy has overhauled its senior management team. Steve Corcoran, former CEO, resigned last November and was replaced earlier this year by ex-Costain executive Mark Rogerson. Andy Wright, previously a manager with Lavendon and Aggreko, has taken up the post of managing director of Middle East and North Africa. Mike McGrath, the board member who was managing the international business, left Speedy late last year.

Speedy said it had strengthened internal cost controls and implemented a new reporting structure to provide greater transparency on activities within the International Division.

Ishbel Macpherson, Speedy chairman, said; “Over the last four years, Speedy has established a platform in the Middle East, built local relationships and won major contracts. The discovery of the activities of a small number of individuals that resulted in these accounting irregularities has been more than disappointing. The Board has acted quickly and decisively to confirm the impact, embedded a new management team and improved financial controls.”

“Whilst there will be an impact on both the current and previous financial years, the Group remains committed to our customers in the region and positive about the opportunities. We look forward to updating the market on 26 March 2014.”

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