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Boom boosts top hirers

Tool hire’s biggest players are thriving thanks to the construction boom, with the top 10 hirers reporting turnover close to £1 billion between them.

Equipment analyst Catherine Stratton says in the EHN Tool Hire Top Ten report that the top 10 hirers aggregate turnover is £952 million on a current year basis, 12 per cent higher than last year. She estimates that the total tool hire industry is now worth £1.8 billion.

Speedy’s purchase of Hewden Tools last year keeps it in first place by a wide margin. Its current annual turnover, based on the two most recent sets of half-year results, of £390 million is more than double its second place rival HSS on £180 million. Speedy’s lead is set to grow further after its recent Amec deal, which it is estimated will deliver £30 million a year.

But the hire companies warned that the credit crisis could hit the industry if banks and developers become jittery about committing to projects.

Ms Stratton said: “Tool hire cannot remain completely immune from the overall economy, but it should be better placed than many other markets.”