REVENUES and profits fell at van hire giant Northgate during a "challenging" first half of its financial year.
The Darlington-based group, which operates in the UK and Spain, reported a drop in turnover to £314.5m from £375.7m in the six months to the end of October. Pre-tax profits fell from £32.3m to £28.1m.
But Northgate said that the decisive actions it has taken since the summer of 2010 mean it is meeting its targets to improve efficiency, customer service levels, strengthen its balance sheet and increase return on capital.
It has also cut its net debt from £371.3m at the end of April to £343.2m at October 31.
Northgate chairman Bob Mackenzie said: "Current trading is broadly in line with the Board's expectations.
“The Group's market leading position, more efficient business model, strengthened balance sheet and ongoing investment in both our people and systems provides the Board with confidence that the Group continues to be well placed to deliver significant returns to shareholders."