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Speedy looks ahead after tough year

19 June 2024

Speedy looks ahead after tough year

Speedy Hire’s results announced today for the year ended 31 March 2024 show the business combating a challenging trading environment.

Group revenue decreased by 4.3% to £421.5m (2023: £440.6m), in part due to a softening in regional customer markets, resulting in lower adjusted profit of £14.7m (2023: £30.7m), impacted by high operational gearing, says the company.

Hire revenues were down 1.7%. Similarly the Services business, excluding fuel, decreased 1.6%. Speedy says that fuel revenues were impacted by the decline in wholesale prices in the year, down by 22.7% year on year.

Chief Executive Dan Evans says that, within Speedy’s National customer segment, which accounts for 53% of revenue, end markets remain positive, with a continued strong pipeline of major infrastructure, construction and energy projects.

These include investment in hydrogen power infrastructure, major highways projects, nuclear new-build and decommissioning work, National Water infrastructure and the continued investment in the rail network.

As a result, revenues from National customers have increased by 0.2% year-on-year, with revenues from Regional customers declining 6.0%. Trade and Retail revenue has remained flat year-on-year as Speedy transitions to a digital model.

“Whilst the macro-economic environment remains uncertain, our customer base and the sectors we serve are well diversified, and we are suitably positioned to capitalise on significant growth projected in major infrastructure projects and programmes,” says Dan Evans.

He adds that during the year, Speedy won and extended major contracts with key National customers which have taken longer to mobilise, due to contract specific delays and are expected to make a positive impact in the next financial year.

Speedy says it is the only UK hire company providing a fully managed fuel service and is proactively promoting low-emission HVO fuel, which now accounts for around 30% of fuel sales.

To increase operational efficiency as part of its Velocity growth strategy, the company says it is introducing measures to control costs such as adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to predict which products to invest in and drive utilisation rates through dynamic forecasting.

In partnership with the PEAK AI business, Speedy says it will deploy further initiatives in the coming year, including a predictive capital expenditure model and a new price optimisation solution to dynamically adjust pricing offered to customers. In addition, it will launch a machine learning technology app to give insight into customer behaviour to inform sales and marketing strategies.

During the 2024 financial year, the company invested £42.5m in its hire fleet, of which 63% was on commercially sustainable equipment. Speedy’s target is to ensure that ‘eco’ products account for 70% of its itemised equipment fleet by 2027.


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