Thursday 5 September 2019 9:04 am

Tool hire firm HSS claws its way back with narrower losses

Tool hire company HSS has reported a substantial narrowing in pre-tax losses for the first half, despite increased expenditure.

The figures

Pre-tax loss was down almost 28 per cent to £7.4m, compared to £10.2m for the first half of 2018, the company said.

Revenue grew 3.9 per cent to £161.4m during the first half, up from £155.4m for the same period a year ago. HSS said this increase was due to improved trading across both its rental and service divisions in the first half.

The Manchester-based firm reported adjusted Ebitda growth of 10.9 per cent, with an increase of £5.5m.

Total basic earnings per share for the first half were 4.4p, HSS said, an improvement on 2018’s loss per share of 4.45p.

Why it’s interesting

HSS has been working to cut losses through cost efficiencies and the strengthening of its digital provisions, and that strategy appears to be paying off. Administrative and distribution costs were both down during the first half, although the cost of sales increased.

Management have said today that it is confident the firm’s full-year profit will meet expectations.

As part of its strategic emphasis on expanding its digital offering, HSS has recently launched a customer app – reception of which has been positive, it said.

What HSS said

Chief executive Steve Ashmore called the results “a solid performance” for the first half, “in which the continued focus on driving profitable revenue growth through strong price control and effective cost management led to a significant improvement in return on capital and a further reduction in leverage.”

“The widely reported headwinds in the economy have affected the tool hire market but HSS is well placed to manage these more challenging conditions,” Ashmore added.

“We have taken additional action to further optimise our operating cost base and have a clear strategy to build upon our existing excellent market positions, leaving us well placed to continue to grow share in all of our markets.”