Belfast Telegraph

Full-year losses widen at tool hire firm HSS

Revenue dipped 1.9% to £335.8 million, but the company insisted trading in 2018 has been ‘solid’.

Losses at tool hire group HSS widened last year, but the firm insisted that a turnaround strategy is beginning to bear fruit.

The company booked a full-year pre-tax loss of £85.2 million in the year to December 31, compared with a £17.4 million loss in 2016.

Revenue dipped 1.9% to £335.8 million, but HSS insisted that trading in 2018 has been “solid”.

Boss Steve Ashmore added: “Overall 2017 was a difficult year for HSS, mainly due to the impact of operational changes made in 2016.

“We have addressed this by focusing on the core rental business and reducing our cost base, and I am pleased with how the business responded in the second half of the year.

“When I arrived in June, I instigated a thorough strategic review process, the results of which have given us clear direction and an ambition to restore the business to historic levels of performance.

“Whilst we are only a few months into implementing the strategy, early signs are encouraging, and we are pleased with the results of the changes made to our network and the associated cost savings.”

HSS has issued a string of profit warnings and embarked on a management overhaul since floating in 2015.

The group has been slashing costs and axing branches to save around £13 million a year

Shares were down more than 3% to 28p in morning trading.

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