HCT Group reveals losses in 2018/19

HCT Group, the former Hackney Community Transport not-for-profit, has posted losses of almost £1.5 million, and breached its covenants, having recorded a £0.89m profit in 2017/18.

The annual report also reveals that last year, a ‘cyberattack’ managed to destroy all of its financial data, leaving it to recreate it own figures. In law, companies are responsible for maintaining accurate records of income and expenditure. Its auditor signed off the accounts on a ‘qualified opinion’ basis, as it lacked key financial information.

“The loss of data and subsequent focus on recovering the situation resulted in a lack of management information for an extended period of time, during which the performance of parts of the operation – both existing and new acquisitions – significantly declined. Once the impact of this became known, an experienced director was engaged as Executive Chairman,” says the annual report.

The late-filed financial report for 2018/19 records HCT’s takeover in 2017 then liquidation of Manchester Community Transport (MCT) in April this year. The £3m ‘revolving cash facility’ from its bank has been withdrawn, so that, during the current year, HCT has been forced to sell its Waltham Forest bus garage for £6.6m to pay off £4.4m debts.

HCT – which during the year received £2.4m in council grants and donations – is now trying to claw back £2m in savings, some of which will be through redundancies. During 2018/19, 17 key managers between them were paid £485,224, up £11,000 on the previous year.

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