Rotala posts positive results across the board

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Rotala has released its half-year unaudited results for the six months ended May 31, 2017, with the company achieving growth across all divisions.

The company’s revenue grew by 4.5% to £28.6m. Profit from operations stood at £1.55m (2016: £1.47m), while profit before tax was £932k (2016: £854k). Earnings per share saw a minor increase from 1.78 pence to 1.79 pence.

Rotala said its operating margin had increased slightly to 18.9% (from 18.2% in 2016).

Rotala Chairman, John Gunn, commented: “The company has continued to make good progress in the first half of 2017, achieving another period of growth as operational leverage improves.

“Furthermore, post period end on July 28, 2017, we announced that we had raised a total of £3.5m in new equity to finance acquisitions, subject to shareholder approval at a general meeting on August 18, 2017.”

Revenues in the operator’s contracted services division rose overall by 6%, when compared to the first half of 2016, to £10.4m (2016: £9.8m). This level of revenue is 29% higher than two years ago. Rotala said it has invested heavily in this area of its business in recent years and has achieved considerable growth, both organically and through acquisition.

In the first half of 2017, contracted services comprised 36.5% of group revenues, compared to 35.9% in the same period of 2016.

It expects the development of franchised bus markets to drive greater gains in this part of the business.

Revenues in the commercial services division, compared to the first half of 2016, rose by 2% to £16.9m (2016: £16.6m). Following Rotala’s three acquisitions in 2016, which were not focused on this division, commercial services now contribute approximately 59% of the group’s total revenue (2016: 61%). These changes reflect stable revenues in Preston and the West Midlands generally and rising revenues in the Manchester area.

In and around Heathrow, the expansion into bus routes in Surrey produced revenue gains which were in turn offset by the decision to discontinue a number of services in the Bristol and Bath area.

Revenues in the charter services division rose by 30% to £1.28m (2016: £0.98m). This increase reflects the contribution of two small acquisitions of Wigan Coachways and Elite Minibus and Coach Services, completed in 2016. Revenues in Charter Services are now more than 80% higher than they were two years ago.

Rotala has also announced the appointment of a new Non-Executive Director. Graham Peacock was previously CEO and a substantial shareholder of MRH (GB) Ltd, the UK’s largest owner and operator of petrol stations before it was sold to a US private equity firm.

In addition, Graham Spooner, an existing non-executive director, has been appointed Deputy Chairman with immediate effect.