New chairman for Speedy Hire

By Helen Wright20 October 2014

Jan Åstrand

Jan Åstrand

UK rental company Speedy Hire has appointed Jan Åstrand as its new chairman, succeeding Ishbel Macpherson from 11 November.

Speedy said Mr Åstrand – who is currently chairman of easyHotel and a non-executive director of Northgate – would join its board from 1 November.

Mr Åstrand was also a non-executive director of Lavendon Group from 2010 until earlier this year, latterly as senior independent director.

Previously, he was chairman of CRC Group; chairman of Car Park Group in Stockholm, Sweden; and senior independent director of PHS Group.

Ms Macpherson said, “We are delighted that Jan is joining the board as chairman. Jan brings enormous experience and his focused, strategic approach will be invaluable to the board and the executive team as Speedy focuses on the delivery of sustainable profitable growth.”

Ms Macpherson announced she was stepping down after following a tumultuous year for the group in the Middle East, where accounting regularities lead to a full-year loss for 2013.

Financial update

In a trading update ahead of its six month results, which are due to be announced on 11 November, Speedy said it had seen a good overall start to the year.

It said remedial actions implemented in the Middle East by the new management team were having a positive effect on the business, but added that "the flow through to profitability is taking longer than expected.”

Overall revenues in the company’s international division were expected to be up 31% year-on-year at the half-year point.

In the UK and Ireland, Speedy said activity levels were “significantly higher” than in the first half of last year, with revenues expected to be up around 11%.

“Following the strong performance in the UK and Ireland, which has continued into the beginning of the second half of the year, Speedy is on track to deliver a result for the full year in line with the board’s expectations,” the company said.

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