In its unaudited interim report for the six months to 31 May 2016, Rotala’s turnover rose 11% to £27.4m (2015: £24.6m), whilst profit before taxation (before exceptional items) was up 9% to £1.135m (2015: £1.045m). Operating margins were maintained at 18.2%.
In January 2016, Rotala acquired the Heathrow Airport business of OFJ Connections Ltd for £1.3m followed in the summer by two small acquisitions in the north west. Elite Minibus and Coach Services Ltd in early July for a cash consideration of £200,000 and Rojay Services Ltd (trading as Wigan Coachways) in early August for a cash consideration of £213,000.
Rotala’s report noted the different approaches of three transport authorities covered by the Buses Bill where it has a presence. Whilst Bristol/Bath and Greater Manchester look to use the legislation to achieve complete control over local bus networks by the franchise process, West Midlands favour a more collaborative approach using bus alliances. According to the company, both approaches offer the prospect of considerably increasing the market shares it can achieve to a level to which it believes it could not have aspired to under the existing structure. The document said, ‘We cannot see a downside to the Rotala business in either line of approach.’