Profits and turnover up for Sandwell bus company

Rotala imageSandwell-based bus and coach operator Rotala saw both turnover and profits rise in its last financial year.

In 2018 Rotala featured in our Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies Index for the second year in a row and for the 12 months to the end of November 2018 the firm’s turnover increased by 19 per cent from the previous year to £62.4m.

The Rotala group operates commercial and subsidised bus routes for businesses, local authorities, the public and private individuals. Based in Tividale, it was formed in 2005 and has grown through the acquisition and amalgamation of local coach and bus operations. It currently operates in the North West, South West, Midlands and Greater London.

As part of the growth strategy Rotala has pursued over the last three years, the company acquired Heathrow shuttle service Hotel Hoppa from rival National Express in November 2017, and bought Central Buses from CEN Group in February 2018.

The Central Buses deal included a 31-strong vehicle fleet for £1.95m and extended the group’s network of bus services in the northern part of Birmingham, particularly in the Perry Barr area.

These acquisitions helped to boost the group’s pre-tax profits before exceptional items by 18 per cent in 2018, from £3.59m to £4.23m. Revenue from contracted services was up by 16 per cent to £21.6m, and for commercial services rose 25 per cent to £38.9m.

This year Rotala has purchased 20 new buses for its West Midlands operation, with the average age of the fleet now at about 9.42 years, slightly younger than the comparable figure of 9.5 years at the beginning of the year.

Further negotiations with Transport for West Midlands are continuing to expand bus alliances for more routes in 2019, and Rotala continues to look for potential acquisitions.

Look out for our Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies Index coming later on this year, to see whether Rotala features for the third year in a row.

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