The UK’s largest independent equipment hirer, GAP Hire Solutions, has posted record annual turnover for the financial year to 31st March 2017, and achieved its second-highest-ever profits as the business continues to grow.
Annual turnover increased by 11% from £158m to £175m and pre-tax profit also increased strongly from £15.8m to £17.1m. This pre-tax profit figure has only been exceeded by the £18.6m achieved in the 12 months to March 2015 – a year described by Joint Managing Director Douglas Anderson as a “purple patch”.
GAP is reaping the rewards of a diversification and expansion strategy that has seen the company grow from its traditional Plant & Tool Hire roots to a multi-service offering with eight divisions, providing customers with a complete hire solution. GAP’s Chairman Danny O’Neil noted the new divisions launched by the company in recent years; Lifting Equipment Hire, London Tools & Access, Non-Mechanical Plant, Survey and Safety Hire, Welfare Services and Events Services, now accounted for 30% of overall revenues.
The company prides itself on being an industry leader in its level of capital investment and modern equipment for hire, investing £73m in its hire assets during the year to March. This level of expenditure ensures GAP continues of offer their customers a wide range of the most advanced products and one of the youngest fleet in the industry.
GAP’s vision is to be the UK’s most innovative hire solutions provider, with a focus on long-term sustainability. Douglas Anderson highlighted GAP’s recent £4m purchase of a five-acre site at Tilbury in Essex, as the company continues to invest heavily to achieve future growth. Plans are underway for its future development to accommodate multiple divisions. The company’s total investment at Tilbury, including development of the site, will be in the region of £6m.
Douglas said of the Tilbury investment: “It gives us a real credibility, and an ability to do things other people can’t do. If you want a service around the M25 and in the M25, you need to be there and have a meaningful presence.”
GAP’s Financial Director Chris Parr added: “Our long-term strategic planning horizon is something that really differentiates the business. Family ownership provides stability and long-term sustainability, enabling us to make exciting investments such as our new site in Tilbury.”
Chris revealed that since the start of April annualised turnover was up about another 10% on the previous year.
The company now employees 1,633 staff, an increase from 1,503 a year earlier, and has grown to 137 locations throughout the UK. The company has increased its workforce by about two-thirds over the last four years.
The financial results mean GAP is still the UK’s fifth-largest player in its sector by turnover and in third position in terms of annual pre-tax profits, with about a 4% share of the plant and tool hire market.