UK rental company Speedy Hire said its revenues were ahead of previous year, and confirmed that its chairman Jan Åstrand was reverting to non-executive status, effective 30 September.

In a brief trading update ahead of its financial results later in the year, the company said the six months ending 30 September had seen its recovery plan stabilise the business and continue to drive improved performance.

During the six months, it said its operational restructuring and focus on management of rental assets had continued, resulting in further improvements in operating performance. Employee numbers were reduced by over 100 from the start of the financial year, Speedy added.

It said revenues were ahead of the prior year and slightly ahead of the board's expectations. With lower overhead costs, it added that profit before tax was expected to be ahead of the same period last year.

“We anticipate further progress and the Board expects that the full year profit before tax will be ahead of its previous expectations,” it said, adding that the costs associated with the operational restructuring and September's general meeting would be recognised as exceptional items

Following disposal of the large mechanical plant fleet, it said net debt would be significantly lower than in the comparable period and at the year end.

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