Company's profits sharply up
Lothian tops up bus dividend by £1.1m
Bus operator Lothian paid £1.1 million more into the public purse following its acquisition of a neighbouring service.
The Edinburgh-based company topped up its dividend to Edinburgh City Council to £6.6m on last year’s payout, according to its annual report which shows that profits have risen from £6.4m to £11.9m.
The results include the performance of EastCoastBuses, a new wholly-owned subsidiary set up by Lothian, which took over operation of East Lothian bus services in August following the withdrawal from the area by First. It carried over 1.1m passengers in 2016 and continues to exceed initial projected expectations.
Jim McFarlane, chairman of Lothian, said: “Once again, our accounts show that we continue to buck the national trend, increasing revenues, profit and our public sector dividend.
“We have also in the last year created more than 100 jobs in the local economy, further modernised one of the greenest fleets in the country and stepped in to maintain vital local services to the community of East Lothian. That is a record of achievement that any public transport operator would be proud of.”
Richard Hall, managing director, said the company would continue to invest in cleaner, quieter vehicles.
The company carried more than 120 million passengers, a year-on-year uplift of 0.3%, contrasting sharply with significant declines seen elsewhere.
Transport and environment convener, councillor Lesley MacInnes, said: “We are particularly encouraged by Lothian’s ongoing success, which will allow further investment in and development of sustainable transport in the capital.”
Revenue £146m (2015 – £142m; Increase of £4.0m)
Net profit £11.9m (2015 – £6.4m; Increase of £5.5m)
Operating profit margin 9.0% (2015 – 6.8%; Increase of 2.2%)
Interim dividend £6.6 (2015 – £5.5m; Increase of £1.1m)
The company also invested £14.1m in its property portfolio and 55 new Euro 6 vehicles.
Over the last 10 years, the company has generated revenues of more than £1.2 billion, and returned a dividend of £38.5 million to its local authority shareholder. During this period it also carried over 1.1 billion passengers.