Speedy Hire revenues up

By Patrick Hill26 November 2008

Revenues of Speedy Hire in the UK for the six months ending 30 September rose 22.3% to £256.2 million (€302 million) from £209.5 million (€247 million) in the same period last year. Although earnings and profit were both up year-on-year as well, the company's operating margin fell 1.2 points, from 14.0% to 12.8%.

Speedy said trading conditions in its infrastructure and utilities markets were strong, but the general construction segment was weaker. Revenues from its top-50 clients were up 36% in the period, and business from non-construction clients is now more than 30% of group revenues.

The company will cut capital expenditures this fiscal year to approximately £75 million (€88.5 million). It also said it will supplement its current programme to reduce annual costs by £24.4 million (€28.8 million) with another to save £18 million (€21.2 million) more.

Chairman David Wallis said, "In these uncertain times we have erred on the side of caution, taking action on costs and spending in response to the more challenging environment. Our strategic focus remains to align ourselves more closely with the UK's major construction and industrial Groups...

"Notwithstanding a circa 6% shortfall in revenues in October relative to our expectations, the positive impact of cost reduction measures and ongoing cost flexibility, together with reduced interest rates, leads us to maintain our expectations for the current financial year, subject to no further deterioration in the market. However, given difficult economic conditions, we remain cautious in our outlook, and will not have sufficient certainty on our position until we are through to the other side of the traditional Christmas shutdown in the construction industry."

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