Market Report: Speedy Hire crashes to a two-year low


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Speedy Hire has not so much ground to a halt as gone into reverse. The tool hire business, down 21.75p to 49p, crashed to a two-year low as chief executive Mark Rogerson quit after just 18 months, after a quite spectacular profit warning.The company said a slow start to the year will mean profits will be “materially below the board’s expectations”. And that is less than two months after full-year profits demolished analyst forecasts.

Investec, which put its target price under review, said: “There is no way to dress up the disappointment of today’s update, an extremely frustrating turn of events which will test the patience of shareholders. This statement reveals there is still much to be done.”

The FTSE 100 index enjoyed a rare rise, up 87.61 points at 6,608.59, after last week’s fire-sale of equities caused by Greece’s debt crisis. Investors could find bargains this month after a 6.6 per cent fall from the blue-chip index in June but it all depends on the outcome of the Greek debacle.

Topps Tiles rose 0.5p to 144.5p, after revealing a 5.9 per cent boost in third-quarter underlying sales. The tile specialist’s shares have risen 28 per cent in 2015.

Over-fifties insurer Saga, up 4.1p at 224p, splashed out £26.26m in cash for motorbike insurer Bennetts – more than a third of whose business comes from the over-fifties.

IT security firm Sophos began trading in London’s biggest ever software IPO at more than £1bn. The shares were priced at 225p last week and closed on the first day private investors could buy and sell the shares at 242p.

On AIM, Sirius Minerals was given the green light to build a fertiliser mine on the North York Moors National Park in a nail-biting eight to seven vote, with gleeful back-slapping among investors at Tuesday’s meeting.

The shares, which were suspended pending the decision, resumed trading and soared in early trading before profit-taking left them 6.5p higher at 21.5p. Liberum Capital said that with the permitting hurdle overcome, attention now turns to funding the mine, which is expected to cost £1.7bn to build.