Firm blames weak first half and ’corporate failures’ for a half-year pre-tax loss of £13.8m

Equipment rental firm Speedy Hire recorded a £13.8m pre-tax loss and a 4% dip in revenues for the six months to 30 September.

This is only £200,000 more than the £13.6m loss the company posted in the same half year in 2009, but last year the figure included a £6m charge for restructuring the business.

Overall, Speedy’s pre-tax loss before exceptional items has widened from £7.6m in 2009 to £12.7m this year.

Revenue fell from £177.3m to £184.8m, a fall of 4.1%.

In the statement Speedy blamed a “weak” first half of the year and “corporate failures”. In October Speedy announced that it would lose £1.7m after being hit by the collapse of social housing firm Connaught.

It said: “After weakness in the early part of the year, the recent UK trading environment is more encouraging, with quarter on quarter growth in revenues, volumes and average hire rates seen over the last three quarters.  It is not however without its challenges, particularly in respect of corporate failures in the construction sector.”

Chairman David Wallis will step down at the end of the year, and be replaced by Ishbel Macpherson, Speedy’s senior independent director.