21st Century moves back into profit

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21st Century Technology plc has announced its final results for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Revenue saw a small £0.2m increase to £11.8m, with gross profit increasing by £0.3m to £5.0m. Underlying operating profit stood at £0.01m, improving considerably from a £1.4m loss in 2016.

Cash at the year-end was £0.3m, down from £0.5m in 2016, though the company’s cost base was reduced by 18% to £5.1m (2016: £6.2m).

Russ Singleton, CEO of 21st Century, said: “We’ve made enormous progress in the last year in our strategy to return the Group to profitability. The changes implemented have resulted in a far more dynamic, innovative and customer centric business, leading to several important contract wins.

“I am particularly pleased to see positive results emerging from greater collaboration between our Fleet and Passenger teams. It is this joined-up approach that will position us well for opportunities resulting from the Integrated or Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Government initiatives, and as major urban areas move towards the creation of Smart Cities.

“Having started the year with a far stronger order book than last year, I expect our progress to continue.”

Mark Elliott, Non-executive Chairman, commented: “I am pleased to report on the significant progress achieved by the Company over the course of 2017 toward becoming a technically agile and customer-centric business.

“The programme of consolidating operations, started last year, has completed and, following the launch of 21st Century’s new head office at Ashby-de-la-Zouch last January, resulted in annualised savings of £1.4m. At the same time, customer services were strengthened and asset clients were retained, enabling the Company to deliver a broadly breakeven result.

“I would like to welcome Abellio Bus London as a new Tier 1 transport operator customer to our Fleet Systems business. Investment in pre-sales and the subsequent integration of this c. £2.5m three-year contract into our operations was completed in H2 and contributed £0.2m of sales in the year. This strategic win builds on the two major contract renewals last year with First Bus UK and Arriva UK Bus.”