SPEEDY HIRE PLC

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Speedy Hire : Trading update and AGM statement

09/10/2020 | 02:05am

Speedy Hire Plc

('Speedy', 'the Company' or 'the Group')

10 September 2020

Trading update and AGM statement

Speedy, the UK's leading provider of tools and equipment hire, and services to the construction, infrastructure and industrial markets, provides an update in advance of its Annual General Meeting later today.

Trading update

The Group remains focused on maintaining the capability to support customers while protecting the health and safety of our colleagues and stakeholders.

Revenue has continued to improve over recent months as customers have returned to work and activity levels have increased. In response to customer demand, we relaunched our 4-hour delivery promise in UK and Ireland on 1 September covering an expanded range of 350 products. UK and Ireland core hire revenues for September to date are c.8% lower than the prior year. Group revenues, pre disposals, for the year to date are c.23% lower than the prior year.

Utilisation rates have improved steadily throughout the first half as activity levels have increased and capital expenditure has been reduced. At 4 September 2020, utilisation rates in the UK and Ireland were 52.9% (2019: 54.6%).

Overhead costs have been tightly controlled during the first half following the decisive actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. UK and Ireland staff numbers at 31 August 2020 were 3,222 (31 March 2020: 3,464), a reduction of c.7% from the year end, and a further 50 colleagues were placed at risk of redundancy during September. Approximately 200 colleagues (c.6%) remained on furlough at 31 August 2020. We have permanently closed 13 depots in the UK and further depots will be consolidated into larger operating locations. The costs of staff redundancies and depot closures will be recognised as exceptional items in the results for the current year.

As previously announced, the Group's training business, Geason, received a claim from a funding agency in late April 2020 alleging poor financial controls and overpayments of up to £2.6m for the three year period commencing August 2017. The Group is in discussions with the funding agency to resolve the matter.

Balance sheet and liquidity

The Group has a strong balance sheet and substantial unutilised banking facilities. Cash collections have remained strong in the first half. As a consequence of this, net debt (on a non IFRS 16 basis) reduced from £79.3m at the year end to £59.4m at 31 August 2020. The Group anticipates that no staff will remain on furlough beyond 30 September 2020 and that other tax payments deferred as part of COVID-19 support measures will have been paid by that date. The Group's maximum committed facilities amount to £180m, which expire in October 2022.

Chief Financial Officer

As previously announced, James Bunn will join the Board on 14 September 2020 as Chief Financial Officer.

Guidance

Further to our previous announcement on 23 June 2020, the COVID-19 situation is likely to remain uncertain for some time and all guidance consequently remains suspended.

Russell Down, Chief Executive, commented:

'We are pleased to report that in recent months we have seen an ongoing recovery in trading as customers have returned to work. The decisive actions we have taken during the pandemic to enhance the resilience of our business and the strength of our balance sheet leave us well placed to respond to improving trends and pursue our strategic objectives.'

Enquiries:

Speedy Hire Plc

Russell Down, Chief Executive

Tel: 01942 720 000

MHP Communications

Oliver Hughes

Andrew Jaques

Tel: 0203 128 8778

Inside Information:This announcement contains inside information.

Notes to Editors:Founded in 1977, Speedy is the UK's leading provider of tools, equipment and plant hire services to a wide range of customers in the construction, infrastructure and industrial markets, as well as to local trade and industry. The Group provides complementary support services through the provision of training, asset management and compliance services. Speedy is certified nationally to ISO27001, ISO50001, ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001. The Group operates from over 200 fixed sites across the UK and Ireland together with a number of on-site facilities at client locations, from an international office based in Abu Dhabi and through a joint venture in Kazakhstan.

Disclaimer

Speedy Hire plc published this content on 10 September 2020 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 10 September 2020 06:04:04 UTC

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