U.K. equipment rental chain HSS Hire posted a 7.7-percent increase in the first nine months of 2011 with revenues of £136.4 million (about U.S. $215.2 million). Underlying pre-tax profits improved 3.1 percent to £30.7 million, the company said. HSS said the slower growth in profits was the result of roll-out costs of new logistics and operational technology designed to improve distribution, stock management and service.
Contract gains in the period included a recently announced five-year sole-supplier agreement with British Waterways and a strategic alliance with infrastructure maintenance firm Enterprise.
“We have delivered another quarter of sustained growth, establishing several major new long-term strategic partnerships based on the things we do best and that customers value most — safety, value, availability and support,” said HSS chief executive Chris Davies. “We continue to see that big businesses recognize the value of the great service we offer, the expertise of our people and our open and transparent approach to business. As planned, we invested in the roll-out of our new logistics and operating network, which is due to be completed in line with our plans by the end of 2011. While costs associated with supporting this transition have impacted our earnings in the short-term, we have now laid the foundations for strong efficiency gains, higher utilization and service-level improvements into 2012.”