Nixon Hire spells out national ambitions

By Murray Pollok08 July 2011

Nixon Hire operates a portable toilet division alongside its general plant and accommodation busines

Nixon Hire operates a portable toilet division alongside its general plant and accommodation businesses.

Nixon Hire, one of the UK's fastest growing rental companies, plans to become a national player by 2020 with revenues of around £50 million.

Nixon, based in Newcastle in the North East of England, had revenues last year of £22 million and has 15 depots in northern England and Scotland. Around half of its sales are generated in Scotland.

Chris Nixon, Nixon's managing director, told IRN that the company "has a plan to develop into a much bigger player, with revenues of £50 million and with national coverage. We are very ambitious and there are so many areas for growth."

The company runs three divisions - for plant, portable toilets and portable accommodation - and it also has a new business in Doha, Qatar, which is run separately from its UK operation. The £50 million target is for the UK only.

The company grew its UK revenues by around 15% last year and Mr Nixon - one of several sons of company founder John Nixon who now manage the business - said the plan was to gradually move further southwards, with the North West being a possible next area for expansion.

He said the UK market remained extremely competitive and that this was leading to expansion opportunities through acquisitions; "We're seeing some smaller companies want to sell up. It's a very tough climate."

The weakness of the pound had helped the UK rental industry sell its excess equipment outside the country, he said, but now renters were facing difficulties in obtaining new equipment because of supply chain problems.

"The dynamics of the market have changed so quickly", said Mr Nixon, "I've never seen it change so quickly in my career. It has caught everybody by surprise."

The company will invest around £8 million this year, which is back up to pre-recession levels.

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