Rotala profit up

Rotala reports a profit increase for the six months ended 31 May 2023. Its profit before tax and exceptional items during the period was at £865,000 (H1 2022: £4,000).

During the six months, Rotala saw passenger numbers remain at 90%-95% of pre-Covid levels, slightly higher than national levels. The company’s Board believes this outperformance can be ascribed to small gains in its market share, rather than differences in the company’s markets compared to the national UK bus market.

Revenue was up approximately 35% to £52.6m (H1 2022: £39m). Trading is in line with the Board’s expectations for the financial year 2023.

Rotala welcomes the continued support from the government for the bus industry.

Regarding arrangements with franchising in Greater Manchester, Rotala has disposed of its Bolton bus depot to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, with all its associated fixtures, fittings, plant and machinery; and placed 134 vehicles, being the majority of its buses based at the Bolton site, into the notional asset pool created by TfGM as part of the franchising arrangements for Greater Manchester.

The overall effect of these transactions on the Group is that it will receive aggregate cash consideration of approximately £30.4 million for the assets included within the disposals. The total net book value of these assets at their dates of sale is estimated to be approximately £23 million.

Rotala has been successful in the second round of franchise bidding in Greater Manchester, winning another small franchise, this time in the Oldham area. This franchise will commence in March 2024 and is a five-year contract with annual revenues of approximately £1.5 million. Seven new buses have been ordered to operate these services at a cost of £1.4 million. The company intends to participate in the bidding for the third round of franchises which is scheduled to be conducted in late 2023.

“The Group performed well in the first six months of the year” – Simon Dunn, Chief Executive of Rotala

Simon Dunn, Chief Executive of Rotala, said: “The Group performed well in the first six months of the year. Covid-19 has changed bus travel patterns and the bus industry is co-operating closely with central and local government to align bus services with these changes. We expect this process to continue to produce growth opportunities and I believe that the Company is well placed to take advantage of any opportunities that arise.”

Rotala is the company behind Diamond Bus, Diamond Bus East Midlands, Diamond Bus North West, Preston Bus and Hallmark connections.

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