In an update on its performance over the past 12 months, Rotala reports it has made ‘good progress’ during the year. It says the longer term trading outlook remains in line with market expectations. Growth has been achieved this year predominantly through acquisition, with the company making three acquisitions during the year. Two of these, Elite Minibus and Wigan Coachways, increased the scale of its operations in the north west. The more substantial acquisition of the Heathrow business of OFJ Connections Ltd (OFJ) in January brought a considerable expansion of its business at Heathrow Airport.
The integration of Elite Minibus and Wigan Coachways has ‘gone well’, considerably broadening the services it can offer in the north west. The completion of the integration of OFJ in the Heathrow area was, as expected, to require the whole of the remainder of the 2016 financial year. The desired level of permanent staffing has now been achieved and the integration will be completed by the end of this financial year, with a positive contribution to profits anticipated in 2017.
In the south west, its passenger numbers remain consistent. It has noticed a shift in the buying habits of passenger in this region, such that purchases of weekly or daily ticket products are increasingly more favoured over the longer dated pass products. This is expected to defer a small amount of revenue anticipated for 2016 into 2017.
Rotala reports that it has been more successful at winning local bus contracts offered by Transport for West Midlands and making progress on TfWM’s plan to take the Bus Alliance route, rather than waiting for the Buses Bill to deliver the ability to adopt full bus franchising.