Speedy Hire chairman to resign

By Euan Youdale13 May 2014

Speedy Hire chairman Ishbel Macpherson will step down following a tumultuous year for the group in the Middle East.

The announcement came in Speedy’s end of financial year results which saw a loss of £4.3 m in its International Division as a result of the deliberate actions of a small number of employees who have now left the business, explained the company in a previous statement.

Ms Macpherson has been with Speedy for seven years, the last three of which were as chairman. She will step down when the group’s interim results are announced in November this year.

"Without doubt, this has been a disappointing year of results for Speedy,” said Ms Macpherson, “The issues the group has faced in the Middle East have resulted in a financial impact, distraction in terms of management focus and general levels of disruption. These issues have now been addressed and we remain confident that the group has strong potential and the outlook is good.

“I believe that [new CEO] Mark Rogerson and his restructured and renewed senior management team are well placed to deliver on this and position the group well for the coming years.”

During the year ending 31 March, Speedy saw revenue rise by 2.9% to UK£349.7 m in the financial year ending 31 March. Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation were up 11.9% to £26.4 m across most of the group.

The International Division created drag on rate of capital employed (ROCE) which is down to 7.% from 7.5% in the previous year. Group ROCE, excluding the international division, was up to 9.5% from 8.5% in 2013.

Commenting on the results Mr Rogerson said, “Since the issues in the Middle East broke, we have responded decisively and effectively, restructuring both the UK and Middle East management teams. In addition, we have gained pace in winning a wide range of new contracts, and have implemented a number of new key initiatives that will enable us to continue to improve our capital disciplines, business processes and further strengthen the culture of the company.”

The fourth quarter saw group revenue growth of 4.9% and included new contract wins with Babcock, National Grid and Northern Gas Networks. It also accelerated its Network programme with the completion of the Glasgow Multi Service Centre and six new superstores.

Mr Rogerson added, “Whilst there is much still to do, growth in our markets is now emerging and our sales revenues in the last quarter of FY2014 and in the first month of this new trading year have been promising. We now need to build on this opportunity to drive shareholder value through the delivery of our strategic priorities."

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