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Helphire reports business is smaller as expected but debt is being reduced

Credit hire group Helphire reports that hire lenths have stabilised in recent months after a significant decline earlier in the year.

Helphire had previously warned that as a result of focus on sustainable and profitable business its case volumes and hire length would be well below 2008.

In a trading statement today to shareholders, it revealed case volumes in July-October were 22.5% down and hire days were 29.9% down against the comparable period last year.

Nevertheless, hire lengths in the period stabilised with an increase of 0.8 days per hire, reversing the trend of the first half of 2009.

A downsized credit hire fleet is being used more efficiently, and Helphire plans to dispose of 4,600 more vehicles in 2010 when their corporate rental contracts end.

Overheads have been reduced by £10.5m, while restructuring has cut 900 jobs with a further 350 to go.

Group debt has been reduced from £239.4m to £227.9m. 

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