HSS revenue down 17% to £269m, but 2021 better

Manchester-based tool and equipment rental firm HSS Hire Group plc said on Thursday its revenue fell 17.7% to £269.9 million in the year to December 26, 2020.

However, HSS CEO Steve Ashmore said the firm has made an encouraging start to 2021.

“Q1 was in line with management expectations until the first national lockdown in late March 2020 after which trading was heavily impacted by Covid-19,” said HSS.

“Revenue dropped as low as 50% of prior year in Q2 before recovering to 94% by Q4.”

CEO Ashmore said: “HSS has delivered a resilient performance in a year of unprecedented disruption.

“The onset of the pandemic had a significant impact across our markets but decisive action to preserve cash and adapt our business supported a strong recovery in the second half of the year with EBITDA ahead of 2019 levels in the final quarter.

“During the course of the year, we took the decision to accelerate the implementation of our strategy.

“By increasing our focus on digital platforms, closing 134 of our branches, and partnering with builders merchants, we have been able to maintain national coverage while significantly reducing fixed costs.

“We are grateful for the overwhelming shareholder support for our strategy and in October successfully completed a £53m capital raise, further strengthening our balance sheet …

“We have had an encouraging start to 2021, with EBITDA in the first quarter ahead of 2019 and 2020 levels.

“We are well positioned to capitalise on market opportunities as we continue to build on our differentiated commercial proposition to create the most advanced, customer-centric offer in the tool hire marketplace.”