Speedy Hire’s board says it has enjoyed a better-than-expected few months of trading amid a bitter battle for control of the tool hire business, after it won new contracts and cut overhead costs.

The FTSE Small Cap company, which rents out tools and plant equipment, has been fending off calls by activist investor Toscafund for a boardroom shake-up at the struggling business over alleged corporate governance issues.

Liverpool-based Speedy Hire today said sales and profits for the six months to September 30 had come in ahead of expectations after a drive to fix the business, including cutting nearly 300 jobs – boosting its forecasts for the year.

“The recovery plan has stabilised the business and continues to drive improved performance,” said Speedy Hire’s board, which is led by chairman Jan Astrand, who ends his executive status today.

Toscafund, which is Speedy Hire’s biggest investor with nearly 20pc of the company’s shares, has so far failed to oust Mr Astrand and have its own nomination, David Shearer, appointed to the board.



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