Optare financial results

Optare has announced its preliminary results for the 12 months ended 31 March 2014. Order intake grew by 30% in 2013/14 compared to the previous financial year, reaching a total number of 372 units. The financial results for the year show a net loss of £4.1m compared to a loss of £7.4m (post exceptional items) in the previous period, which represents an improvement of 45%. Revenue for the period was £56.9m, a reduction of 25% over the prior year due to reduced kit revenues. On the 31 March 2014, the order book stood at £28.4m compared to £12.3m in the previous year. The company posted overall sales of 351 single deckers, a slight decrease on the previous year. It also exported 31 kits to South Africa and the first 15 units of an Australian order.

Group turnover decreased from £75.9m to £56.9m, which it claimed was mainly due to the completion of deliveries of the kits for the Cape Town tender, which generated significant revenues in 2012/13. Profit after tax was a net loss of £4.1m, a reduction of £3.3m on the prior year principally due to continued progress on driving cost reductions and increased process efficiencies. Total registrations in its core market, the UK bus sector, totalled 2,494 units in 2013/14, a contraction of 347 units against the previous year. However, the figure represents an increase in its market share in the UK Bus market from 11.5% to 14.1%.

During the period, Optare launched the Metrocity to compete in the 12-16 tonne market and completed the development of the MetroDecker for commercial launch in Q3 of 2014/15. The business completed the Metrocity range with the addition of the electric option, gaining the first vehicle orders in October 2013. To reduce dependency on one market and to improve top line growth, the Group aims to continue to diversify the product range and participate in various bus segments outside the UK through the dealer distribution network. The company continues to invest in new products to secure long term growth with a pipeline of new products to meet its growth strategy.

CEO, Enrico Vassallo, said, ‘Despite challenging market conditions over the last 12 months, I am pleased to report that we are now seeing the positive signs of increased sales activities in our key market of the UK. This has resulted in a 30% growth in orders in 2013-14. We believe that the launch of the new Metro range of vehicles will serve to strengthen our market position. We have made considerable progress in supply chain cost reduction, implementing manufacturing efficiencies and further improving the quality of our products, and we continue to focus on our processes to drive continuous improvement. With the business break even point lowered we are confident that we have built solid foundations for the group to grow the top line and return to profitability.’



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