- Tools and plant hire group Speedy Hire reported a 22% rise in first-half profit as it boosted sales to owners of small and medium businesses.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through September rose to £16.4m, up from £13.5m on-year. Revenue climbed 5.7% to £205.7m.

Speedy Hire declared an interim dividend of 0.70p per share, up 17% on-year.

'Our strong balance sheet and financial performance are underpinned by excellent customer service, with continuing progress against our strategic objectives,' chief executive Russell Down said.

'I am particularly encouraged by the growth in higher margin SME customer revenues and progress with our digital roll out where we have continued to make significant investment.'

'In spite of the current uncertain UK political backdrop we remain confident of delivering full year results in line with our expectations.'

At 9:50am: [LON:SDY] Speedy Hire PLC share price was -0.1p at 54.5p

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