HSS Hire shares take a hammering despite losses narrowing

 
Hayley Kirton
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The company's share price has taken a hefty hit today (Source: Getty)

Shares in HSS Hire have plunged today, despite the company announcing losses had narrowed in its half-year results.

The figures

The tools and equipment hire firm reported a loss before tax of £9.8m for the 27 weeks to 2 July, narrowing the gap to the black by £4.3m when compared with a loss of £14.1m for the same period the year before.

Meanwhile, loss per share improved to 6.62 pence per share from 10.51 pence per share.

The firm also announced revenue had increased to £166.2m, up 13.5 per cent from £146.4m.

The company noted trading for the third quarter of 2016 had started ahead of the same period in 2015, continuing growth in its key accounts.

The directors also declared an interim dividend of 0.57 pence per share, the same as was declared last year.

However, the numbers failed to impress investors. Shares are currently trading down 3.7 per cent at 81.83p.

HSS Hire HSS Hire | mobile image

Why it's important

Drilling deeper into today's figures digs up a split in the company's performance. Although HSS Hire is currently in the process of separating out its business between hiring and other services, based on the old split, operating losses in its core business came in at £10.4m for the period. Revenues in the division grew 14.4 per cent to £141.8m.

Meanwhile, HSS Specialist, which handles generator, climate control, powered access and cleaning equipment hire among other things, pulled in an operating profit of £7.8m, while revenues improved 8.9 per cent to £24.4m.

What HSS Hire said

John Gill, chief executive of HSS Hire, said:

I'm pleased to report strong revenue and underlying profit growth in the first half of the year reflecting the positive impacts of our revised strategy. Customers are increasingly seeing HSS as a single source provider of tools, equipment and related services and our trading growth reflects this.

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