Speedy Hire on road to recovery after 20% hit

Shares of Speedy Hire plc, the Newton-le-Willows-based tools and equipment hire firm, edged 2% higher on Wednesday after it said its full year results are expected to be towards the top end of analysts’ expectations.

The company published results for the six months to September 30, 2020, showing revenue for the period — excluding disposals — fell 20.5% to £162.3 million “following a reduction in activity levels during the first COVID-19 lockdown in the UK and Ireland.”

Adjusted profit before tax fell 64% to £16.4 million.

However, the company reported an “ongoing recovery’ and said the second lockdown is “not materially impacting the group to date, with construction and infrastructure markets continuing to operate.”

Assuming current trading continues, Speedy Hire intends to pay a dividend for the full year “taking into account the results for the year as a whole.”

Speedy Hire CEO Russell Down said: “I am pleased with the resilient performance of our business during this unprecedented period.

“Cash flow performance has been excellent, due to actions taken quickly to control costs and preserve cash, and our balance sheet remains strong.  

“This performance is testament to the strength of our model, hard work of all my colleagues and strong operational delivery.

“Our customer service focus and capital commitment promise have once again delivered customer renewals and market share gains.

“I am pleased to report ongoing positive trading momentum in recent months.

“Moving into the second half, while conditions remain uncertain due to COVID-19, utilisation has returned to 2019 levels and the business is well positioned and invested to take advantage as trading recovers to more normal levels. 

“As a consequence full year results are expected to be towards the top end of analysts’ expectations.”