‘Leaner, fitter’ passenger operator Rotala ready to hit acquisition trail

Coach and bus operator Rotala says that will emerge from the pandemic ‘leaner and fitter’ and ready to buy business again.

The Stock Market-quoted (AIM:ROL) group posted a first-half profit of £370,000 this morning (15 September) and in its statement says passenger volumes are gradually increasing following COVID-19.

Formed in 2005, Rotala has grown through the acquisition and amalgamation of local coach and bus operators and has bus operations under the ‘Diamond’ brand in Birmingham, Manchester and Preston. It also runs a private-hire coach operation aimed at blue-chip companies.

The Birmingham-headquartered company saw profits fall from £2.3m last year, but said there was “no necessity” to use any Government loan schemes during the period ending May 31 and that there are “Post-crisis opportunities for both organic growth and growth by acquisition.”

John Gunn, non-executive chairman, says: “We have seen service delivery and reliability improve throughout the crisis, management learn to be quicker on its feet, and the increased investment in systems infrastructure continue to produce discernible benefits.

“We are therefore very confident that, operationally, the Group is in good shape, fitter and leaner to meet the challenges that lie beyond the end of the COVID-19 crisis.”

He added: “On a like for like basis passenger volumes now stand at about 54% of the same period in the previous year. We expect this upward trend to continue.

“To match these increases bus service frequencies have been gradually returned to pre-crisis levels. We are now running at roughly the level we were at before the Coronavirus crisis hit.”

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