Speedy finance boss exits

Plant-hire firm Speedy has announced that finance director Chris Morgan is to leave the firm at the end of the month.

In a trading update, the company's board said a process to replace Morgan, who has been with the company since 2015, has begun.

Speedy revealed activity levels steadily improved revenue last month. Group revenue in April was ahead of board expectations, but still a third lower (35 per cent) than the previous year. The easing of lockdown measures and the return to work of Speedy’s customers meant hire revenue for the week ended 5 June 2020 was around 17 per cent lower than a year earlier.

The business has reduced the number of staff it has on furlough from around half to a third, which leaves about 1,200 employees on the government scheme.

It also revealed it is investigating allegations made by a funding agency that its training business Geason had poor financial controls in place and made overpayments of up to £2.6m for the three-year period beginning August 2017. Overall the training arm, which it acquired for £9m in December 2018, has not performed in line with expectations and goodwill will be written down to nil Speedy’s year-end accounts.

Using government coronavirus support measures enabled it to reduce net debt from £79.3m at the year end to around £68m at 31 May 2020. Speedy said in the update it had a strong balance sheet and substantial un-utilised banking facilities. Cash collections had remained strong throughout the period.

Speedy is confident it will be able to operate within its existing debt facilities based on a variety of revenue downturn scenarios during a prolonged period of reduced trading activity.

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