Rotala publishes half-year results

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Birmingham-based transport firm Rotala – which owns Preston Bus, Diamond Bus and the London Hotel Hoppa service amongst others – has published its financial results for the first half of 2018.

The company has seen revenue increase by 14% on the first half of 2017, now standing at £32.7m. Profit has also increased, jumping 18% to £2.3m.

Chairman John Gunn said in the report: “I am pleased to present this interim report to shareholders in respect of the six months ended 31 May 2018.

“The company has continued to make good progress in the first half of 2018, building on the benefits derived from the three acquisitions made in 2017 and the Central Buses acquisition made in the current accounting period.”

Revenue generated by contracted services rose 13.5% compared to the first half of last year, now standing at £11.8m; revenue in this division has increased by 50% over the last four years.

The report continued: “We entered the Manchester market through an acquisition in 2015 and in the intervening period we have successfully expanded the contracted base of the business by winning an increasing number of contracts from Transport for Greater Manchester.

“This progress was bolstered in 2017 by the acquisition of the Goodwins business. Similarly, in the West Midlands the Hansons acquisition in 2017, followed by that of Central Buses in 2018, has significantly improved our market share in the Transport for the West Midlands contracted market.

“We have also benefited from smaller, but locally important, gains in local authority contracts in Lancashire and Surrey, compared to the corresponding period in 2017.”

Meanwhile, revenue from commercial services increased by 19% to £20.1m: “Revenue gains were enjoyed in all geographical areas except for the South West where we have been deliberately reducing the number of our commercial services.

“In the West Midlands the acquisition of Hansons in 2017 and Central Buses in 2018 has undoubtedly improved our market share considerably.

“The Goodwins acquisition in Manchester, allied to the registration of some new routes, has also made a very positive contribution to revenue in this area of the business.”