Speedy results boosted by cold-calling success
May 16, 2019 – Plant and tool hire chain Speedy grew its profits by more than 50% last year after making 30,000 phone calls a month to past and potential customers.
Speedy Hire’s Customer Relationship Centre in Newport has been expanded to target SME customers, making more than 30,000 calls each month.
Speedy said that its telemarketing team has been successful in reactivating down trading and dormant accounts, and supporting its marketing campaigns. The result has been a 25% rise in revenues from SME [small and medium-sized enterprises] customers.
In recent years, the big hire companies have focused their efforts on the big customers, but the risks associated with this strategy were exposed when the collapse of Carillion cost Speedy £8m in lost annual revenue. So now it is casting its net more widely and targeting SMEs.
Overall, in the year to 31st March 2019 Speedy’s revenue increased by 5.8% to £394.7m (2018: £373.0m). Revenue excluding disposals increased by 6.0% to £389.2m (2018: £367.2m). Services revenue grew by 10.2%, helped by the acquisition of Geason Training in December 2018.
Pre-tax profit increased 51% to £27.2m (2018: £18.0m).
UK and Ireland asset utilisation rates continued to improve to 57.0% (2018: 55.4%) as a result of further rationalisation of the hire fleet. Net debt increased to £89.4m (2018: £69.4m), after expenditure of £30.9m on acquisitions, including powered access specialist Lifterz Holdings at the end of March.
Chief executive Russell Down said: “These strong results demonstrate the excellent progress Speedy is making against our strategy, including a significant increase in our SME customer base, services revenue growth, and the completion of two UK acquisitions. We have further increased our return on capital through an improved operating performance and continuing to optimise the business using digital technology. The business has a strong platform for future growth.”
Speedy has also appointed e-commerce expert Rhian Bartlett to its board as a non-executive director. She is currently customer and digital director at Screwfix Direct, and has previously was been eBay’s director of UK trading and head of on-line merchandising at J Sainsbury.
Speedy launched an app last year, enabling customers to on-hire and off-hire equipment digitally, although it is not yet clear how enthusiastically the market has embraced it. “A number of major customers are currently using the app and others are in the trial phase,” was all that Speedy would reveal today.