Driver Hire forging ahead
Driver Hire has revealed its plans to grow its number of UK offices in the coming years. (The following article appeared in the Yorkshire Post on Tuesday 4th May).
Driver Hire forging ahead after tighter times in the recession
Published Date: 04 May 2010
By Greg Wright Deputy Business Editor
Recruitment business Driver Hire has revealed that it plans to grow its number of UK offices from 93 to 150 over the next five years.
Chris Chidley, Bradford-based Driver Hire's chief executive, told the Yorkshire Post that he believes Ireland could be the site of the company's first international venture.
He added: "It all depends on when the Irish economy starts to recover."
Turnover for the year ended April 2010 was £59m, an 8.4 per cent fall on the previous year. Earlier in the year, the figure was 30 per cent down as companies tightened their belts during the recession.
From June onwards the company registered 24 weeks of continuous growth. Driver Hire said it had made a strong start to the new financial year.
Mr Chidley said: "This week's revenue like-for-like was 40 per cent higher than the same week last year. We are seeing customers using temporary workers to take up the slack as business starts to pick up and stabilise.
"All of our customers continued to trade over the winter. The atrocious weather certainly had an impact and, oddly, helped us. Drivers' hours are closely regulated so if there are lots of delays and traffic is moving slowly, they are less productive and you need more drivers to take up the slack. We provided most of the gritting drivers in Northern Ireland."
Mr Chidley said the UK would experience weak economic growth in 2010.
He added: "That uncertainty plays into our hands. As business picks up, employers may need more staff. But if they are not confident that the recovery is sustainable, hiring a temp is a low-risk, flexible alternative. If higher levels of business are maintained and they decide it's time to recruit, we can help them with permanent recruitment too.
"Inventory levels are returning to more normal levels."
He said the firm's biggest customer supplied the building industry, which showed there was a marked pick-up in activity in the construction sector.
Mr Chidley added: "In 2011, we believe any fiscal austerity will be offset by a good export market. Next year we expect the UK economy to record growth of between two per cent and 2.5 per cent – that will continue to help us."
Founded in 1984, Driver Hire has grown to become the UK's market leader in supplying permanent and temporary drivers and logistics staff to the public and private sectors
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