Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Van Rental Firm Rules out Shedding More Staff

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Van Rental Firm Rules out Shedding More Staff

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Dent

COMMERCIAL van rental group Northgate is to continue tightening its belt but chiefs said its cost-cutting would not include axing more staff.

The heavily-debted Darlington company shed around 360 jobs last year across the UK, Ireland and Spain, and reduced its UK van numbers by almost 12,500 to 61,000. The firm also closed 12 depots, leaving it with 72.

But finance director Bob Contreras said: "We really are a support services company and we need to be efficient - that is not necessarily a head count cost. That has been our focus for at least a year or so. Our trading in the UK is quite promising but the economy is going to continue to be an issue."

The company said that in the four months to the end of February, 91% of its vehicles were being utilised, up 5% on the same period a year earlier. Hire revenue improved by 3% in the same period.

In a trading update released to the stock exchange, Northgate also said it expects the UK's used vehicle market to remain strong. …

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