Turnover increases 23% to £254.3m as tool hire business expands into Ireland.

Speedy Hire increased its interim pre-tax profit by 24.5% to £30.7m for the year ended 31 March 2006.

The tool and equipment hire company, which has just begun trading in Ireland, also increased its turnover by 23% to £254.3m.

Chairman David Wallis said the company had been buoyed by the new health and safety legislation and the new legislation on noise emissions, which encouraged businesses to hire rather than own tools and equipment.

Wallis said the company would continue its strategy of growth by acquiring complementary businesses - in the past financial year the company spent £35m acquiring five businesses.

"With a favourable outlook in our main markets, ongoing investment in strengthening and improving the business, strong financial position and a first class team to execute our plans, I look forward to reporting further progress in the year ahead," Wallis said.

The company operates 300 depots throughout the UK and employs more than 3400 people.