Speedy's international problems hit profits

Full-year revenue at Speedy Hire has risen by 2.9% to £349.7m, but a £4.3m loss made by its scandal-hit international business has caused pre-tax profits to fall by 4.6% to £14.6m.

In the year to the end of March there were also £4.7m in exceptional costs, not included in this figure, while no such costs were included last year.

These costs include £1m spent on investigation and resolving the problems in the international business, where a potential £5m black hole in company accounts was uncovered last year.

Amortisation also amounted to £2.9m.

Chairman Ishbel Macpherson, who has held her role for the past three years, also announced that she will be standing down as chairman and leaving the board in November this year.

She admitted the past year had been “disappointing”.

She said: “The issues the Group has faced in the Middle East have resulted in a financial impact, distraction in terms of management focus and general levels of disruption. These issues have now been addressed and we remain confident that the group has strong potential and the outlook is good. I believe that Mark Rogerson and his restructured and renewed senior management team are well placed to deliver on this and position the group well for the coming years.”

Key developments for the company since the year end have included winning preferred bidder on a major Tier 1 contract with Balfour Beatty and establishing a relationship and winning contracts with Skanska.

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