Speedy Hire in line for year

Tools and equipment for hire business Speedy Hire said trading in the last six months has been in line with company expectations with underlying revenues up 5.3 per cent from the same time last year.

Tools and equipment for hire business Speedy Hire said trading in the last six months has been in line with company expectations with underlying revenues up 5.3 per cent from the same time last year.

It added that while market conditions remain challenging it is confident of meeting company expectations for the year.

"This revenue growth, combined with an on-going focus on operational and capital efficiency initiatives, has enabled the group to improve profitability, operating margins and return on capital employed," Speedy said in a company statement.

Underlying UK revenues for the first half rose 3.2% from the same half last year

after momentum in both volume and yield offset a fall in product and customer mix. The underlying rate improvement continues, it said.

In the international division, revenue rose 77% from the same half a year earlier, driven by growth in the oil & gas sectors.

Speedy said mobilisation has started on the first phase of the ZADCO project to support the drilling activity on four artificial islands in the Arabian Gulf. This will allow land based drilling techniques to be used to exploit one of the largest offshore oil fields in the United Arab Emirates, it said.

The tool hire group said the project is expected to result in revenues to Speedy of up to US$50m over the next 5 years and will support further progress in profitability in the second half of the year.

The group said it has continued to invest in fleet to support specific areas of growth in both the UK and overseas.

Net debt at September 30th 2012 was around £83m compared to £76.3m in March 2012. During the period the group's banking facilities were extended on the same terms, by a further seven months through to August 2015.

Chief Executive Steve Corcoran commented: "Continued implementation of the group's strategy and a range of self-help measures have seen Speedy make further progress during the first half."

"Although market conditions remain challenging the board is confident of meeting its expectations for the financial year and continues to look to the future with confidence."

CJ

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