Tool hire giant HSS Hire Group has reported a loss before tax of £8.5m for the year to 27 December 2014. Revenue was up 25 per cent to £284m, while operating profit rose 10.3 per cent to £23.6m.
Why it's interesting
Today is something of a landmark for HSS - it's the group's first update since its IPO back in February. The results were broadly in line with HSS's expectations.
HSS floated at 210p per share, giving it a market capitalisation of £325m. JPMorgan acted as global coordinator, joint book runner and sponsor while Numis Securities also acted as joint book runner. Last week Berenberg Bank reiterated its buy rating on HSS shares.
HSS took heart from the fact its core and specialist businesses were outpacing growth in the tool and equipment hire market as a whole. The group opened 23 new branches in 2014 and emphasised its performance over the past year reflects a focus on the "less cyclical and higher value-added 'maintain' and 'operate' segments" of the market.
What HSS Hire said
Chris Davies, HSS' chief executive, said:
[Last year] was a year of excellent progress as we continued to deliver strong growth across both our core and specialist businesses... We have made an encouraging start to 2015 and trading is in line with our expectations. The roll-out of our local branches is continuing to plan, with new branches opening at the rate of one a week, and the customer response continues to be positive.
Looking ahead, HSS is reviewing opportunities for specialist acquisitions and is looking to add another 50 local branches over the course of the year.