Speedy Hire sees more value outside construction

Speedy Hire has seen a 35% incrase in its full year profits and a 4.3% increase in revenue - but only by focusing more on markets outside its core UK construction base.

For the year to the end of March the hire company's underlying revenue, which excludes the loss-making accommodation business it sold in 2011, increased to £340.4m, while adjusted pre-tax profits before amortisation and exceptional items came in at £16.8m.

However a continuing focus on what chief executve Steve Corcoran describes as "more sustainable infrastructure and industrial markets" means that at the year end construction only accounted for 49% of total revenue - a signicant change from two years ago, when it accounted for 65% of the company's revenue, and the company made a loss.

However he denide that this meant Speedy Hire was moving out of construction, poiinting out that the 2.2% decline in construction revenue was far less than the downturn in the construction industry nationwide. "It is just that other markets have grown more than that," he said.

The company's international business, which is only three years old, now accounts for 7.1%, up from 5.1% last year.

And the company says it has had much success in targeting high volume customers with a more managed service - in its attempt to move more towards being a service-oriented company.

Corcoran said: "Our research has identified that high-volume users and large clients choose to hire, as opposed to own, assets in order to reduce their risks including capital, operating and legislative and compliance risks. As hire alone does not fully solve these risks for our clients, we aligned our offering with additional services of training and TRIM (test, repair, inspect and maintain).

"Training can reduce mis-use of hired equipment and help avoid loss of production, damage to property and personal injuries. TRIM recognises that it may sometimes be more economic for a customer to buy, rather than hire, an asset and addresses the need for any asset to be properly tested, repaired, inspected and maintained so that it remains safe and productive."

Corcoran said he expected to see another year of declining activity in the UK, but added: "We are increasingly confident in our ability to secure business in our target markets of social and economic infrastructure where growth is more predictable."

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