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Profits up 2 per cent at hire group HSS

Equipment hire firm HSS Hire Service Group saw its profits before tax and interest rise 2 per cent in 2011.

The company’s earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was £39.8m. However the figure for the final three months of the year was down 3 per cent from the same period in 2010.

Its turnover for the year rose 5 per cent to £180.2m in 2011 but fell 1 per cent in the fourth quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2010.

The group lost a contract with Network Rail and said revenues its air conditioning and heating products were down due to the mild weather. It also spent money on a new operating platform, which it said would make it more efficient and improve customer service.

However it reported 13 per cent year-on-year growth in key accounts, which made up 30 per cent of its revenue.

Its contract wins included a five-year sole supplier agreement with British Waterways and a strategic alliance to manage the fleet and equipment rental for infrastructure maintenance firm Enterprise.

The group said it expected to continue to grow in 2012.

Chris Davies, chief executive officer, said: “2012 will undoubtedly present us with challenging conditions – not least with the unseasonably mild winter continuing into the start of the year –  but we are well positioned to keep building our business. We’ll continue to drive sales growth whilst focusing on improving margins. As always we will continue to concentrate on the things we know matter most to our customers whilst investing in our colleagues and managing our cash generation and costs in order to take our business forward.”

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