Tool and plant company Speedy Hire is hammering out plans for a new strategy and substantial investment in Birmingham.

Chief executive Steve Corcoran said the business was considering a major central operation - a new "Speedy Village" concept - or a number of smaller outlets.

He said: "A Speedy Village might employ around 50 people at a large site offering a full range of services, or we may opt for perhaps four or five smaller depots.

"Our expectation is that we will put a significant investment into Birmingham."

Mr Corcoran anticipated a final plan to be in place by the time the company announces its half yearly results in November.

The company yesterday revealed that it had powered to a 25 per cent increase in pretax profits for the year ending March 31.

They increased to £30.7 million from £24.5 million a year earlier, on revenue of £254.3 million, up from £206.5 million.

Speedy, which hires out tools and equipment from over 300 depots throughout the UK and Ireland, raised dividend 16 per cent to 14.3 pence for the year after a 9.4p final payout.

Chairman David Wallis said the markets in which Speedy's major customers operated remained buoyant and showed good growth trends.

New Health and Safety legislation provided additional impetus towards hiring rather than owning tools and equipment, he said.

Mr Wallis said: "With a favourable outlook in our main markets, ongoing investment in strengthening and improving the business, a strong financial position and a first class team to execute our plans, I look forward to reporting further progress in the year ahead."

He said the group's strategy remained one of growth with the aim to be number one or number two in all its markets.

Mr Wallis said the plan had resulted in several years of consistent growth, both organically and through acquisitions and "we see no reason why this should not continue for the foreseeable future".

The business would continue to open greenfield depots where research showed a profitable opportunity to increase its "geographic footprint" and better serve its customers.

During the last financial year the business had opened 22 such depots, Mr Wallis said. In May, Speedy revealed it was buying LCH Generators - which is now renamed Speedy LCH - for £59 million in cash and shares.

The deal gave the combined operation more than 4,000 generators available for hire across the UK.

Speedy LCH employs around 19 people in Coventry.

Further expansion by Speedy has seen the number of people at its other 20 sites in the Midlands rise from 200 to around 250 in 12 months.