Speedy Hire has said its first-half turnover is likely to be 29% down on last year’s figure of £256m despite increased stability in recent months

The firm, which specialises in plant hire, said: “With no sign of improvement in private sector spending and increased sensitivity around the sustainability of government spending, there is still significant uncertainty in the current outlook for construction.” The firm cut 270 jobs, representing 6% of its total staff, in the year to 30 September.