Speedy Hire furloughs 50 per cent of staff, freezes pay and mulls dividend suspension
Speedy Hire said today that it had put half its staff on furlough, frozen pay and was examining suspending its dividend to help it get through the coronavirus economic slowdown.
The tool and equipment hire business said it was still operating, with most staff working from home and hiring being carried out online or over the phone.
Speedy said covid-19 had an impact on trading towards the end of March, but said that projects remained ongoing and it “has to date retained a substantial proportion of its revenues entering its new financial year”.
The company said it had furloughed 1,725 staff in the UK under the government’s Coronavirus Job Protection Scheme.
It has also cut pay for its executive team by 20 per cent for three months.
Speedy said it had deferred its April salary review and instituted a hiring freeze.
The company said it “will consider whether it is prudent to recommend a final dividend on the announcement of its final results, when the potential scale of the impact of covid-19 on the group will have become clearer.
Speedy said it thought it was well-positioned to get through the crisis without breaching covenants.
Its net debt at 31 March was £80m, with its maximum committed facilities standing at £180m.
“Based on various revenue downturn scenarios, and the measures outlined above, the board remains confident that the group can operate within its existing debt facilities and covenant tests during a prolonged period of reduced trading activity,” it said.
Chief executive Russell Down said: “We have taken significant measures to protect our financial position whilst preserving our ability to continue trading and to respond quickly to changing market conditions. Over the medium term we remain well positioned to benefit as normal trading conditions resume.”