Optare sales revenue doubled in the six months to 30 September from £22.7m last year to £46.7m this year. In the six months the company reduced its pre-tax losses from £4.4m to £3.3m. In the last three months of the period it produced an EBITDA profit of £146,000. Export revenues reached a record £10.5m.
The company has made progress on cost reduction, with direct labour costs being cut from 15.2 to 7.9 per cent of sales, reflecting the company’s considerably increased revenue. Administration costs likewise have been cut from 23.7 to 10.2 per cent of revenue.
The company’s order book at the end of September was valued at £19.4million, compared with £55million last year. The company says this drop “is in part a reflection of the shorter lead-times being achieved at the new factory in Sherburn”. It is also awaiting the results of order decisions by the big bus groups. Material cost reductions of £900 per bus were made during the period and in the next six months Optare is targeting a reduction of a further £3,000 a bus as it benefits from Ashok Leyland’s purchasing power.
Commenting on the interim results chief executive officer Jim Sumner, who leaves the company at the end of this month, says: ‘I am delighted with the significant progress we have made against the turnaround plan and would like to take this opportunity to thank the board for their support and the efforts and commitment of the entire organisation over what has been a very challenging period for the business. I have every confidence that Optare will go from strength to strength as part of Ashok Leyland’s global business.’
[Source: Bus and Coach]