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Speedy Hire target waste and energy to boost revenue

Energy and waste are among the areas being targeted by Speedy Hire as it recovers from what its chief executive called the most tumultuous period in its history.

The firm released an Interim Management Statement for the three months to 30 June which show a year-on-year 2.2 per cent drop in revenue for its UK & Ireland asset services division which constitutes 95 per cent of group revenue.

However group revenues excluding fleet equipment sales are up 4 per cent on the same period last year, with June 2011 up 6.2 per cent on the June 2010.

Group chairman Ishbel Macpherson said: “The new financial year has begun satisfactorily and overall performance remains in line with management expectations.

“Areas such as water, waste, energy and transport provide promising opportunities and, although uncertainty in the wider construction sector continues, these key areas of focus for the group give management confidence that we can make further progress in the current financial year.”

Chief executive Steve Corcoran said in May that March 31 marked the end of the “most tumultuous period” in the group’s 34-year history.

The group’s net debt at the end of last week was £79.9m reduced from £113.9m on 31 March boosted by the sale of Speedy’s accommodation hire operation for £34.9m to Elliott Group, including retaining working capital of around £3.6m.

The group has also refinanced, entering into a new £220m asset-based revolving credit facility which it said will “provide greater flexibility for future capital investment, as well as certainty for medium term funding arrangements”.

In a statement, the group said: “Cash generation remains a key area of focus for management and, with a continued tight control over cash and costs, we aim to reduce net debt from its July seasonal high over the remainder of the financial year.”

Speedy Hire has announced Dr Chris Masters will take on a role as non-executive director while it continues to look for a new finance director which it expects to announce shortly.

It added: “With trading improving in line with expectations and having secured new banking arrangements and disposed of the loss-making accommodation hire operation, the board considers that, with its market leading position, strong balance sheet and clear market approach, the group is well positioned to take full advantage of wider economic recovery.

“In the meantime, we will continue to make steady progress, cautiously invest in our fleet, evolve our property base and drive efficiencies through the business.”

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