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Travel & Leisure 78.1 -4.8 -8.1 - 15

Rotala PLC Interim Results for 6 months to 31 May 2021

20/07/2021 7:00am

UK Regulatory (RNS & others)


Rotala (LSE:ROL)
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TIDMROL

RNS Number : 7399F

Rotala PLC

20 July 2021

20 July 2021

Rotala Plc

("Rotala" or "the Company" or "the Group")

Unaudited Interim Results

Rotala plc (AIM:ROL), a provider of transport solutions across the UK, announces its unaudited interim results for the six months to 31 May 2021.

Highlights

   --      Trading for H1 2021 underpinned by DfT subsidies 
   --      Passenger loadings now about 65% of pre-COVID levels 
   --      Small profit after tax for H1 2021 of GBP807,000 (H1 2020: loss of GBP3.8 million) 

-- H1 2021 net cash flow positive of GBP793,000 (H1 2020: cash flow negative of GBP2.1 million)

   --      Government pushing ahead with National Bus Strategy 

Simon Dunn, Chief Executive said: "The Government's new National Bus Strategy promises large scale fresh investment in bus transport. The Government is providing GBP3 billion in new funding in the next few years. This must be beneficial for the bus industry. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rotala has deliberately concentrated on improving its business efficiency, software systems and use of working capital. As a result, I believe that Rotala is very well placed to play its full part in a revitalised bus industry."

For further information please contact:

 
Rotala Plc                                                            0121 322 2222 
John Gunn, Chairman 
 Simon Dunn, Chief Executive 
 Kim Taylor, Group Finance Director 
 
  Shore Capital                                                         020 7408 4090 
Tom Griffiths / James Thomas / Michael McGloin (Corporate Advisory) 
 Henry Willcocks (Corporate Broking) 
 

Chairman's Statement

I am pleased to be able to make this report to the shareholders of Rotala Plc in respect of trading for the six months ended 31 May 2021. During this entire accounting period, bus operation has been conducted under a variety of restrictions imposed by the UK Government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These restrictions have severely affected the normal commercial operation of bus services, but the financial effects of these steps have been counterbalanced throughout the period by the package of grants and subsidies provided by the Department for Transport ("DfT") and local authorities. The pandemic began in March 2020, just over halfway through the corresponding accounting period in that year. These are the key facts to be borne in mind when considering trading performance so far this year, any comparison with previous years, and the overall position of the Group as at the date of this statement.

Review of Operations

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the support of Government at local and national level has been key to sustaining the Group's operations. This support is largely encompassed by a specific grant ("CBSSG Restart") which is funded and administered by the DfT. Local authorities continue to pay Bus Services Operator's Grant ("BSOG"), concessionary fares re-imbursements and payments for contracted bus services in effect at their pre-crisis levels. These measures are designed to put a bus company in a no profit/no loss position in return for the running of the level of bus service desired by the relevant local authority working in concert with the DfT.

At the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, passenger numbers fell to under 15% of those seen at the same time in the previous year, but then recovered slowly as the crisis eased into the summer of 2020 and the Government lifted many of the initial restrictions. When the new school year began in September 2020, passenger numbers rose steadily to about 60% of those of the previous year. In the late 2020 lockdown period, passenger volumes fell back once more to about 45% of the levels of the previous year, but service frequencies were maintained. In the early 2021 lockdown period, passenger numbers declined once more to about 25% of normal levels and service frequencies, working in co-ordination with those local authorities in whose areas the Group operates and the DfT, were adjusted to 80% to 85% of pre-crisis levels. As restrictions were eased, passenger numbers then recovered steadily and now stand at about 65% of the levels seen before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. As lockdown restrictions are eased further, the Board believes that passenger confidence is likely to return more strongly leading to higher passenger volumes. Only time will tell whether and in particular, when passenger volumes will return to pre-COVID-19 levels. Service frequencies have already been restored to those which were being operated before the advent of COVID-19.

The CBSSG Restart scheme contains a ratchet mechanism which ensures that, as passenger numbers decline or increase, grant support increases or declines, maintaining the no profit/no loss position for a bus operator. In line with the anticipated ending of the various COVID-19 restrictions, particularly those covering social distancing, the DfT gave notice on 6 July 2021 that the CBSSG regime will come to an end on 31 August 2021. The DfT also announced that CBSSG would be replaced by a fixed pool of GBP226.5 million in bus recovery funding. This funding is available for the period up to 5 April 2022, when the Enhanced Partnerships formed under the National Bus Strategy, further details of which are set out below, are planned to commence. The bus recovery funding is a subsidy to bus operators based on key metrics, rather than claimable costs as under CBSSG. This will allow operators greater flexibility to adapt services to meet the new demands of the post-pandemic bus market.

Results

For the period ended 31 May 2021 Group revenues were GBP47.3 million (2020: GBP35.5 million), to which the grant and subsidy regime described above contributed GBP27 million (2020: GBP7.1 million). The breakdown of total revenues is set out in note 2 to these financial statements. It should also be pointed out that revenues for the first half of 2021 were flattered by the running of specific school services funded by the Department for Education. These revenues totalled GBP1.5 million in the period (2020: GBPnil). Furthermore, a prudent view was taken in the year ended 30 November 2020 about the eligibility of some expenditure for CBSSG purposes; the resolution of these uncertainties has caused the recognition in the accounting period under report of about GBP1m in prior period revenues.

The Company has succeeded in winning a Government transportation contract with annualised revenues of about GBP1.4 million. There was no revenue impact on the six months to 31 May 2021 but revenue from this new contract will be more significant henceforward, with a beneficial and worthwhile contribution expected towards gross profits. This contract, being new business, required the acquisition of eight additional vehicles. The Group purchased these second-hand vehicles outright, at a total value of GBP617,000, as they were available at very advantageous prices and the Board believes that they will hold their value well.

The unusual operating conditions under COVID-19 and the varying levels of bus service provision requested by the DfT and local authorities during the period under report, combined with the package of grants and subsidies from the DfT, referred to above, make it almost impossible to draw any useful analysis from the financial results and very hard to point to any meaningful conclusions when comparing the results for the first half of 2021 with those of the comparative period of 2020 or the financial year ended 30 November 2020 as a whole. Despite the adverse operating conditions, before exceptional items, the Group recorded an overall Operating Profit of GBP1.4 million for the period to 31 May 2021 (2020: GBP0.4 million).

Immediately following the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020, fuel prices fell steeply. As the G roup's entire fuel derivative exposure is marked to the market price at the end of any reporting period, the profit and loss account for the period ended 31 May 2020 recognised an exceptional charge of GBP2.9 million in this regard. Since then, fuel prices have recovered significantly. The consequence of this is that, for the period ended 31 May 2021, the mark to market calculation produces an exceptional profit of GBP1.2 million.

Working capital and debt

Although the support of the Government throughout the COVID-19 crisis has been very welcome, it can be readily seen that the timing of the payment of the package of grants and subsidies has had a deleterious effect on working capital over the accounting periods covered by the pandemic. We expect this effect to unwind gradually. This unwinding, combined with the release of working capital from parts and engineering stocks (described in more detail below) and the continuing positive cash flow of the Group at the EBITDA level, is expected to have a materially beneficial effect on the Group's drawings on its Revolving Commercial Facility over the next two years. This factor, taken together with the forecast fall in hire purchase debt set out below, should ensure that the overall leverage of the Group declines steadily. On the assumption that EBITDA post-COVID-19 recovers to normal levels, the Group's leverage is expected to be in line with the Board's target of 2.5 times EBITDA by 30 November 2022.

Investment in systems

Whilst bus provision during the pandemic has required management to resolve numerous operational problems, the crisis has also given management the opportunity to complete two software projects commenced before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects cover the full implementation of new systems to control parts stocks and to digitalise engineering and maintenance spend. These new systems, the implementation of which had begun before the COVID-19 pandemic began, now form one integrated whole. In time the benefits of these changes will be evidenced in further reduced parts stocks and lower engineering spend.

Fleet management

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the delivery of the replacement buses for the Bolton depot ordered as part of the plan drawn up at the time of the acquisition of the depot from First Group plc in August 2019. The bulk of these vehicles, 104 in total, had been delivered by 31 May 2021. The remaining 28 of the vehicles on order, with a value of some GBP5.5 million, will arrive during the third quarter of this financial year . Furthermore, given the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic since these orders were first placed, we do not foresee any requirement, unless for specific new business as above, to acquire any further vehicles until 2023. In a normal year, we would expect to invest about GBP5.0 million in the natural cycle of fleet replacement, so, after the initial large increase in the size of the outstanding hire purchase debt, that increase will be temporary and reduce rapidly so that, by 30 November 2022, hire purchase debt levels are forecast to be around GBP32 million.

Aside from the Bolton re-equipment plan, the Group has continued to be active in reshaping its bus fleet to match changing needs. The Group has recently taken advantage of the availability of a Government grant in order to convert five existing diesel buses to all electric operation. We are looking forward to the operational experience which we expect to gain when these vehicles are fully in service.

When acquiring any vehicle new to the fleet, the Board is acutely conscious of its emission standards and relative fuel consumption. The Board believes that having a modern and efficient bus fleet is a key aspect of customer service. Management monitors each vehicle in the fleet for relative fuel consumption, reliability and maintenance cost. Older vehicles also produce a higher level of emissions. The Group is keen to minimise this aspect of bus operation and has continued to dispose of vehicles that fall outside of acceptable parameters.

Fuel hedging

When opportunities arose before the pandemic to hedge the fuel requirements of the Group, the Board, as usual, took out fuel hedges, using diesel derivatives. As a result, about 83% of the Group's fuel requirement for 2021 is covered by hedging contracts, at an average price of 100p per litre, though the forecast fuel requirement of the Group for 2021 is at the reduced level of about 12.1 million litres. The Group's forecasts anticipate fuel usage of about 14 million litres in 2022. About 54% of this fuel usage is covered by hedging contracts, at an average price of 87p per litre. These prices should be compared to the current spot price for diesel (excluding VAT) of 102p per litre.

The Board will continue to monitor market conditions closely and take out such further fuel hedges as it deems are appropriate to meet its objective of reducing volatility in its costs and creating business certainty.

Group Strategy

Before the COVID-19 crisis took hold in early 2020, the Government had announced an ambitious package of new funding to overhaul bus provision in every English region outside London. In March 2021, it published a detailed National Bus Strategy paper, "Bus Back Better", which lays out a comprehensive plan of reform and promises GBP3 billion of new Government investment. New Enhanced Partnerships, combined with subsidies for 4,000 zero emission vehicles, are designed to re-invigorate the bus market all over the country and increase bus usage. We welcome this policy change and look forward to working closely with local and national Government in making a success of these new initiatives.

The Group already has extensive experience of operating routes in specific partnerships in the West Midlands. The National Bus Strategy paper also sets out targets for next stop information, on bus CCTV, and cross-operator fare capping. A significant number of the Group's buses are equipped with next stop systems and all of our bus fleet has on-board CCTV which can be remotely accessed from the depot. The Group already has fare-capping architecture installed which can be used to deliver "Tap on/ Tap off" cross-operator capping, which is a desired feature of the National Bus Strategy. Therefore the Board believes that the Group already has extensive experience of implementing and using these advanced systems which underlie the targets the Government has set and which are designed to smooth the travel experience of customers and enhance their perception of safety and security.

In Greater Manchester, the Mayor, following a further period of consultation, made in late March 2021 the decision to proceed with franchising. In our view, this decision stands at the end of a flawed process and we, with another bus operator, are challenging it in the courts. A judicial review hearing was held at the end of May 2021. The judge's decision in this case has yet to be announced. A further announcement will be made in due course.

Dividend

The Company last paid a dividend in December 2019 in relation to the six-month period ended 31 May 2019. One of the terms of the DfT grants is that bus companies may not pay dividends as long as the grant regime is in place. Accordingly, it will be necessary for the DfT grant regime to have ceased and normal bus operation to have re-commenced successfully before the Board may consider the resumption of dividend payments.

Financial review

Income statement

The Consolidated Income Statement is set out below. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and the designation of bus operation as an essential service, the Government has provided a grant and subsidy support package to the bus industry. In return, the Group has provided the service levels requested by the DfT and the local authorities in whose areas the Group operates. These service levels also varied during the period, as the country moved into and out of lockdown. As remarked above, there is therefore little useful to be said about the levels of Revenue, Cost of Sales, Gross Profit, Gross Profit Margin, Profit or Loss from Operations and Profit or Loss before Taxation when set against the comparable period last year.

Administrative expenses (setting aside exceptional items) did increase considerably compared to the previous year. In these very demanding and unusual times, the Group required not only enhanced levels of general legal and professional advice but also specific advice covering such areas as health & safety, risk assessment, recording and logging systems for COVID-19 purposes, and medical advice to deal with employees categorised as clinically extremely vulnerable. Furthermore, staff required extra training tailored to the requirements of working in COVID-19 conditions. These demands necessitated the creation of new posts with the skill sets to provide the support required. All these factors, taken together, caused overhead expenses to rise considerably when compared to those of the same period in the previous year.

The interest expense related to hire purchase agreements rose in the period commensurately with the increased use of this type of vehicle finance. See note 8 to these financial statements for the full analysis. The exceptional item represented by the mark to market provision on fuel derivatives (and in prior periods other exceptional costs) is analysed in detail in note 3 to these financial statements. The principal components of the exceptional items caption are described fully in the "Results" section above.

As a result of the factors set out above, basic earnings per share for the six months ended 31 May 2021, after all exceptional items, were 1.61p (2020: loss per share of 7.61p).

Balance sheet

The gross assets of the Group as at 31 May 2021 declined slightly to GBP104.4 million when compared to the position as at 30 November 2020 when they stood at GBP108.7 million. Part of this decline was caused by a small reduction in the book value of property, plant and equipment. See note 5 below for the full analysis of this caption. The other cause of the decline was a further reduction in Group stocks of parts, tyres and fuel as a result of the full implementation of the new systems referred to above. Furthermore, the working capital absorbed by the CBSSG regime during 2020 has begun slowly to unwind as the complex series of submissions and reconciliations result in the gradual receipt of the grant and subsidy income in cash. This overall reduction in current assets was to a degree offset by the recognition of the fuel price derivative asset, referred to above, which has arisen as a result of the recovery of fuel prices when compared to those at the end of 2020.

Commensurate with the fall in current assets, current liabilities also shrank when compared to the position as at 30 November 2020. The continuing cash flow positive nature of the Group has enabled it to reduce utilisation both of its overdraft facility and its Revolving Commercial Facility. As mentioned above, this trend is expected to continue. The full analysis of loans and borrowings at period ends is set out in note 6 below. It should be noted that at no stage has the Group needed to take on any loans from one of the Government-backed loan schemes set up to counteract the effects of the Coronavirus crisis.

Obligations under hire purchase contracts rose as a result of the new vehicle deliveries for the Bolton fleet, but the sharp recovery in fuel prices during the period removed most of the short-term liability for derivative fuel contracts. Nevertheless, net current liabilities overall fell from GBP9.8 million at 30 November 2020 to GBP7.4 million at 31 May 2021.

Non-current liabilities were little changed from those seen at the end of 2020. Lease liabilities will rise somewhat by 30 November 2021 as the remainder of the Bolton fleet replacements are received, but this increase will be largely offset by the normal level of hire purchase capital payments. Overall, therefore the gross liabilities of the Group declined by 7% at 31 May 2021 to GBP72.9 million (2020: GBP78.1 million).

The result of the movements outlined above was that the net assets of the Group were stable, closely comparable to those as at 31 May 2020 and slightly increased when compared to those as at 30 November 2020 as a result of the small profit after tax recorded for the period under report.

Cash flow statement

Cash flows from operating activities (before changes in working capital and provisions) rose sharply when compared to 2020 to GBP9.6 million (2020 : GBP238,000). Most of the reason for this was that a small profit before tax of GBP1.1 million was recorded for the period ended 31 May 2021 in contrast to the loss of GBP4.9 million seen in the six months ended 31 May 2020. The depreciation charged in 2021 was also considerably higher than that of the same period in 2020. Although changes in working capital and provisions did absorb cash flow in the period ended 31 May 2021, rather than release it as in the same period in 2020, cash generated from operations still reached GBP7.8 million compared to only GBP1.2 million in the same period last year. The decrease in trade and other payables was more or less matched by decreases in trade and other receivables and inventories. Interest paid on lease liabilities increased so as to reflect the rise in hire purchase debt, but overall net cash flows from operating activities for the six months to 31 May 2021 were GBP6.8 million (2020: GBP668,000).

Purchases of property, plant and equipment (including the GBP617,000 of vehicles purchased outright mentioned earlier in this statement) were largely covered by sales of the same item.

Within financing activities, the repayment of bank borrowings includes the reduction of GBP1.5 million in the Group's drawings on its Revolving Commercial Facility. The cash outflows on the other captions in this section of the cash flow statement are closely comparable to previous periods except that capital paid on hire purchase instalments rose to encompass the increased level of hire purchase borrowings arising from the Bolton re-equipment programme. There were no dividend payments (2020: GBP476,000).

Thus, given cash flows from operating activities of GBP6.8 million, cash used in financing activities of GBP5.9 million and only GBP0.2 million of cash used in investing activities, there was an overall increase in cash of GBP793,000 in the period compared to an outflow of cash of GBP2.1 million for the same period in 2020 and an outflow of cash for the year ended 30 November 2020 as a whole of GBP1.3 million. In summary, the net overdraft position of the Group stood at GBP2.5 million at 31 May 2021, compared to a liability of GBP4.1 million at 31 May 2020 and GBP3.2 million at 30 November 2020.

Outlook

As mentioned above, the provisions of CBSSG Restart and the associated Government support measures were designed to ensure that the Group makes neither a profit nor a loss at the normalised level up to the time that the CBSSG regime ends on 31 August 2021. The regulations covering the GBP226.5 million pool in bus recovery funding are likely to contain broadly the same stipulations as CBSSG.

However, the Government's new National Bus Strategy does promise large scale fresh investment in bus transport. The shape and scale of this investment will also become clearer as the year passes, as will the likely effect of the Bus Service Improvement Plans that go with this investment. The Government is promising to provide GBP3 billion in new funding in the next few years. This must be beneficial for the bus industry as a whole and Rotala in particular. At the same time, I believe that, as the bus industry emerges from the protection afforded by the CBSSG regime and commercial reality returns, opportunities for organic growth and acquisitions are likely to arise once more. Rotala has deliberately concentrated during the COVID-19 pandemic on improving its business efficiency, software systems and use of working capital and on reducing its unsecured debt. If acquisition opportunities do arise, we will therefore have access to the unused facilities necessary to finance them sensibly. Accordingly, I continue to believe that the Company is very well placed, with excellent prospects in a revitalised bus industry.

John Gunn

Non-Executive Chairman

Date: 20 July 2021

 
 
 
 Condensed consolidated     Note    Unaudited      Unaudited    Unaudited    Unaudited      Unaudited     Unaudited 
  income statement                   6 months       6 months     6 months     6 months       6 months      6 months 
                                     ended 31        ended       ended 31     ended 31        ended        ended 31 
                                     May 2021        31 May      May 2021     May 2020        31 May       May 2020 
                                                      2021                                     2020 
 
                                        Results   Exceptional     Results        Results   Exceptional       Results 
                                         before         items     for the         before         items       for the 
                                    exceptional                    period    exceptional                      period 
                                          items                                    items 
                                        GBP'000       GBP'000     GBP'000        GBP'000       GBP'000     GBP'000 
 
 Revenue                     2           47,281             -      47,281         35,495             -      35,495 
 
 Cost of sales                         (40,410)             -    (40,410)       (30,460)             -    (30,460) 
 
 Gross profit                             6,871             -       6,871          5,035             -       5,035 
 
   Administrative 
   expenses                             (5,476)         1,230     (4,246)        (4,662)       (4,129)     (8,791) 
 
 Profit/(loss) 
  from operations                         1,395         1,230       2,625            373       (4,129)     (3,756) 
 
   Finance expense                      (1,518)             -     (1,518)        (1,168)             -     (1,168) 
                                  -------------  ------------  ----------  -------------  ------------  ---------- 
 
   (Loss)/profit 
   before taxation            3           (123)         1,230       1,107          (795)       (4,129)     (4,924) 
 
 Tax (expense)/credit                      (66)         (234)       (300)            151           963       1,114 
 
 (Loss)/profit 
  for the period 
  attributable 
  to the equity 
  holders of the 
  parent                                  (189)           996         807          (644)       (3,166)     (3,810) 
 
 Earnings per 
  share for (loss)/profit 
  attributable 
  to the equity 
  holders of the 
  parent for the 
  period: 
 Basic (pence)               4           (0.38)                      1.61         (1.29)                    (7.61) 
 
 Diluted (pence)             4           (0.38)                      1.61         (1.29)                    (7.61) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Condensed consolidated                             Note                  Audited   Audited year   Audited year 
  income statement                                                     year ended       ended 30       ended 30 
                                                                      30 November       November       November 
                                                                             2020           2020           2020 
 
                                                                   Results           Exceptional          Results 
                                                                    before                 items          for the 
                                                                 exceptional                                 year 
                                                                    items 
                                                                          GBP'000        GBP'000          GBP'000 
 
 Revenue                                   2                               78,115              -           78,115 
 
 Cost of sales                                                           (66,010)              -         (66,010) 
 
 Gross profit                                                              12,105              -           12,105 
 
   Administrative expenses                                               (10,683)        (3,999)         (14,682) 
                                                           ----------------------  -------------  --------------- 
 
   Profit/(loss) from 
   operations                               3                               1,422        (3,999)          (2,577) 
 
   Finance income                                                              43              -               43 
 
   Finance expense                                                        (2,247)              -          (2,247) 
 
 Loss before taxation                                                       (782)        (3,999)          (4,781) 
 Tax credit                                                                   149            585              734 
                                                           ----------------------  -------------  --------------- 
 Loss for the year 
  attributable 
  to the equity holders of 
  the parent                                                                (633)        (3,414)          (4,047) 
 
 Earnings per share for 
 loss 
 attributable to the equity 
 holders of the parent 
 during 
 the year: 
 Basic (pence)                             4                               (1.26)                          (8.08) 
                                                           ----------------------  -------------  --------------- 
 
 Diluted (pence)                           4                              (1.26)                           (8.08) 
                                                           ----------------------  -------------  --------------- 
 
 
 
 
 
 Condensed consolidated statement         Unaudited 6    Unaudited   Audited year 
  of comprehensive income                 months ended    6 months       ended 30 
                                          31 May 2021     ended 31       November 
                                                          May 2020           2020 
                                            GBP'000       GBP'000         GBP'000 
 
 Profit/(loss) for the period                 807         (3,810)         (4,047) 
                                        --------------  ----------  ------------- 
 
   Other comprehensive expense: 
 Actuarial loss on defined 
  benefit pension scheme                       -             -              (890) 
 
 Deferred tax on actuarial 
  loss on defined benefit pension 
  scheme                                       -             -                169 
                                        -------------- 
 
 Other comprehensive expense 
  for the period (net of tax)                  -             -              (721) 
 
 Total comprehensive income/(expense) 
  for the period attributable 
  to the equity holders of 
  the parent                                  807         (3,810)         (4,768) 
                                        ==============  ==========  ============= 
 
 
 Condensed consolidated           Notes   Unaudited   Unaudited   Audited as at 
  statement of financial                   as at 31    as at 31    30 November 2020 
  position                                 May 2021    May 2020 
                                          GBP'000     GBP'000     GBP'000 
 Assets 
 Non-current assets 
 Property, plant and 
  equipment                       5       63,994      51,427      65,392 
 Defined benefit pension 
  asset                                   1,441       2,319       1,441 
 Goodwill and other intangible 
  assets                                  14,907      15,060      14,907 
                                          _____       _____       _____ 
 Total non-current assets                 80,342      68,806      81,740 
 
 Current assets 
 Inventories                              2,491       4,324       3,489 
 Trade and other receivables              20,544      19,403      22,299 
 Derivative financial 
  instruments                             644         -           165 
 Cash and cash equivalents                346         1,371       1,035 
                                          _____       _____       _____ 
 Total current assets                     24,025      25,098      26,988 
                                          _____       _____       _____ 
 Total assets                             104,367     93,904      108,728 
 
 Liabilities 
 Current liabilities 
 Trade and other payables                 (5,731)     (7,086)     (8,338) 
 Loans and borrowings             6       (17,884)    (22,009)    (20,842) 
 Lease liabilities                7       (7,697)     (4,919)     (6,340) 
 Derivative financial 
  instruments                             (103)       (1,710)     (1,267) 
                                          ______      ______      _____ 
 Total current liabilities                (31,415)    (35,724)    (36,787) 
 
 Non-current liabilities 
 Loans and borrowings             6       (5,651)     (5,946)     (5,881) 
 Lease liabilities                7       (33,534)    (18,151)    (33,195) 
 Provision for liabilities                (374)       (109)       (579) 
 Derivative financial                     -           (655)       - 
  instruments 
 Net deferred taxation                    (1,912)     (1,687)     (1,612) 
                                          ______      ______      ______ 
 Total non-current liabilities            (41,471)    (26,548)    (41,267) 
                                          ______      ______      ______ 
 Total liabilities                        (72,886)    (62,272)    (78,054) 
                                          _____       _____       _____ 
 Net assets                               31,481      31,632      30,674 
                                          ======      ======      ===== 
 
 
 Condensed consolidated      Unaudited   Unaudited   Audited as at 
  statement of financial      as at 31    as at 31    30 November 2020 
  position                    May 2021    May 2020 
                             GBP'000     GBP'000     GBP'000 
 
 
 Equity attributable 
  to equity holders 
  of parent 
 Called up share capital     12,731      12,731      12,731 
 Share premium reserve       12,369      12,369      12,369 
 Merger reserve              2,567       2,567       2,567 
 Shares in treasury          (806)       (806)       (806) 
 Retained earnings           4,620       4,771       3,813 
                             ______      ______      _____ 
 Total equity                31,481      31,632      30,674 
                             =====       =====       ==== 
 
 
 Condensed consolidated    Called      Share      Merger     Shares         Retained        Total 
  Statement of Changes      up share    premium    reserve    in treasury    earnings 
  in Equity                 capital     account 
                            GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000      GBP'000       GBP'000        GBP'000 
 
 At 1 December 2019         12,731      12,369     2,567        (806)         9,749       36,610 
                          ----------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ----------  ------------ 
 
 Change in accounting 
  policy - IFRS 16 
  "Leases"                     -          -          -            -          (1,168)      (1,168) 
 Loss for the period           -          -          -            -          (3,810)      (3,810) 
 Other comprehensive           -          -          -            -             -            - 
  income 
 Total comprehensive 
  expense                      -          -          -            -          (4,978)      (4,978) 
 Transactions with 
  owners: 
 Dividends paid                -          -          -            -             -            - 
 Transactions with             -          -          -            -             -            - 
  owners 
 
 At 31 May 2020             12,731      12,369     2,567        (806)         4,771       31,632 
 
 Loss for the period           -          -          -            -           (237)        (237) 
 Other comprehensive 
  expense                      -          -          -            -           (721)        (721) 
 Total comprehensive 
  expense                      -          -          -            -           (958)        (958) 
 Transactions with 
  owners: 
 Dividends paid                -          -          -            -             -            - 
 Transactions with             -          -          -            -             -            - 
  owners 
 
 At 30 November 2020        12,731      12,369     2,567        (806)         3,813       30,674 
                          ----------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ----------  ------------ 
 
 Profit for the period         -          -          -            -            807          807 
 Other comprehensive           -          -          -            -             -            - 
  income 
 Total comprehensive 
  income                       -          -          -            -            807          807 
 Transactions with 
  owners: 
 Dividends paid                -          -          -            -             -            - 
 Transactions with             -          -          -            -             -            - 
  owners 
 
 At 31 May 2021             12,731      12,369     2,567        (806)         4,620       31,481 
 
 
 
 Condensed consolidated cash              Unaudited         Unaudited         Audited year 
  flow statement                        6 months ended    6 months ended    ended 30 November 
                                         31 May 2021       31 May 2020            2020 
                                           GBP'000           GBP'000            GBP'000 
 Cash flows from operating 
  activities 
 Profit/(loss) for the period 
  before tax                                1,107            (4,924)            (4,781) 
 Finance expense (net)                      1,518             1,168              2,204 
 Depreciation                               6,946             4,138              7,765 
 (Gain)/loss on sale of property, 
  plant and equipment                         -               (331)               793 
 Amortisation of intangibles                  -                187                339 
 Notional expense of defined 
  benefit pension scheme                      -                 -                  31 
                                            ____              ____                ____ 
 Cash flows from operating 
  activities before changes 
  in working capital and provisions         9,571              238               6,351 
 
 Decrease/(increase) in trade 
  and other receivables                     1,755            (1,129)            (4,024) 
 (Decrease)/increase in trade 
  and other payables                       (2,678)            (132)               962 
 Decrease/(increase) in inventories          998              (15)                821 
 Movement on provisions                     (205)             (125)               345 
 Movement on derivative financial 
  instruments                              (1,642)            2,398              1,135 
                                            ____              ____                ____ 
                                           (1,772)             997               (761) 
                                            ____              ____                ____ 
 Cash generated from operations             7,799             1,235              5,590 
 
 Interest paid on lease liabilities         (957)             (567)             (1,000) 
                                            ____              ____                ____ 
 Net cash flows from operating 
  activities                                6,842              668               4,590 
 
 
 
 Condensed consolidated cash               Unaudited         Unaudited         Audited year 
  flow statement                         6 months ended    6 months ended    ended 30 November 
                                          31 May 2021       31 May 2020            2020 
                                            GBP'000           GBP'000            GBP'000 
 Cash flows from investing 
  activities 
 Purchases of property, plant 
  and equipment                              (958)             (464)              (878) 
 Sale of property, plant and 
  equipment                                   776               729                586 
                                             _____             _____              _____ 
 Net cash flows (used in)/derived 
  from investing activities                  (182)              265               (292) 
 
 Cash flow from financing activities 
 Dividends paid                                -               (476)              (476) 
 Repayment of bank and other 
  borrowings                                (1,706)            (176)              (243) 
 Bank interest paid                          (550)             (517)             (1,069) 
 Hire purchase refinancing 
  receipts                                     -                185                185 
 Capital settlement payments 
  on vehicles sold                           (318)               -                (228) 
 Capital paid on lease liabilities          (3,293)           (2,066)            (3,753) 
                                             _____             _____               ____ 
 Net cash used in financing 
  activities                                (5,867)           (3,050)            (5,584) 
 
 Net increase /(decrease) in 
  cash and cash equivalents                   793             (2,117)            (1,286) 
 
 Cash and cash equivalents 
  at start of period                        (3,245)           (1,959)            (1,959) 
                                             _____             _____              _____ 
 Cash and cash equivalents 
  at end of period                          (2,452)           (4,076)            (3,245) 
                                            ======             =====               ==== 
 

Notes to the Unaudited Consolidated Interim Financial Statements for the six months ended 31 May 2021

   1.     Basis of preparation: 

The unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements have been prepared using the accounting policies set out in the Group's 2020 statutory financial statements.

The financial statements of the Group for the full year are prepared in accordance with international accounting standards in conformity with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 and these interim financial statements have been prepared in accordance with IAS 34 "Interim Financial Reporting". The interim financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis.

   2.     Turnover: 

Revenue represents sales to external customers excluding value added tax. All of the activities of the Group are conducted in the United Kingdom within the operating segment of provision of bus services. Management monitors revenue across the following business streams: contracted services, commercial services and charter services.

 
 
                         Six months   Six months    Year ended 
                          ended 31     ended 31     30 November 
                          May 2021     May 2020        2020 
 
                          GBP'000      GBP'000       GBP'000 
 Commercial                12,383       19,385        31,596 
 Contracted                7,400        8,789         16,501 
 Charter                    475          209           665 
 Grants and subsidies      27,023       7,112         29,353 
 Total                     47,281       35,495        78,115 
                        ===========  ===========  ============= 
 

As set out in the Chairman's Statement the Group has been the beneficiary of extensive support from the Department for Transport and Local Authorities.

   3.     Profit before taxation: 

Profit before taxation includes the following items which the directors consider to be outside of the normal trading transactions of the Group and are therefore to be regarded as exceptional in nature:

 
 
                                      Unaudited   Unaudited   Audited year 
                                       6 months    6 months       ended 30 
                                       ended 31    ended 31       November 
                                       May 2021    May 2020           2020 
                                        GBP'000     GBP'000        GBP'000 
 
 
 Depreciation charge for 
  vehicles scrapped                           -       (913)          (913) 
 Mark to market profit/(provision) 
  on fuel derivatives                     1,230     (2,877)        (2,511) 
 Amortisation of intangible 
  assets                                      -       (187)          (339) 
 Redundancy and reorganisation 
  costs                                       -       (152)          (236) 
 
 
 Profit/(loss) within 
  profit before taxation                  1,230     (4,129)        (3,999) 
                                     ==========  ==========  ============= 
 

The profit within exceptional items in the period arose from the marking to market of the Company's fuel derivative position as at 31 May 2021, as described in the Chairman's Statement. The losses shown in the above table for the periods ended 31 May 2020 and 30 November 2020 arose from similar mark to market calculations at the respective valuation dates .

   4.     Earnings per share: 

Basic earnings per share have been calculated on the basis of profit after taxation and the weighted average number of shares in issue for the period of 50,091,109 (May 2020: 50,091,109; November 2020: 50,091,109). Diluted earnings per share have been calculated on the basis of profit after taxation and the weighted average number of shares in issue (including such potential issues as are dilutive) for the period of 50,091,109 (May 2020: 50,091,109; November 2020: 50,091,109).

Basic adjusted and diluted adjusted earnings per share before exceptional items have been calculated using the same weighted average numbers of shares in issue, but on the basis of profits after tax and before any exceptional items. This is done in order to aid comparability between the accounting periods.

   5.     Property, plant and equipment 
 
                            Freehold      Right                    Public 
                            land and     of use         Plant     service 
                           buildings     assets           and    vehicles     Total 
                                          under     machinery 
                                        IFRS 16 
                             GBP'000    GBP'000       GBP'000     GBP'000   GBP'000 
 Cost: 
 At 1 December 2019           11,066      5,063         6,310      58,668    81,107 
 Reclassifications                 -          -            17        (17)         - 
 Additions                        10        259           281      20,454    21,004 
 Disposals                     (169)      (508)         (341)     (7,713)   (8,731) 
 
 
 At 30 November 2020          10,907      4,814         6,267      71,392    93,380 
 
 
 Additions                         -          -             -       6,356     6,356 
 Disposals                         -    (1,983)         (407)     (3,337)   (5,727) 
 
 
 At 31 May 2021               10,907      2,831         5,860      74,411    94,009 
 
 
 Depreciation: 
 At 1 December 2019              313      2,547         1,769      22,914    27,543 
 Reclassifications                 -          -             9         (9)         - 
 Charge for the year              47        790           598       6,330     7,765 
 Disposals                      (16)      (478)         (183)     (6,643)   (7,320) 
 
 
 At 30 November 2020             344      2,859         2,193      22,592    27,988 
 
 
 Charge for the period           415        276         1,139       5,117     6,947 
 Disposals                         -    (1,954)         (270)     (2,696)   (4,920) 
 
 
 At 31 May 2021                  759      1,181         3,062      25,013    30,015 
 
 Net book value: 
 At 31 May 2021               10,148      1,650         2,798      49,398    63,994 
 
 
 At 30 November 2020          10,563      1,955         4,074      48,800    65,392 
 
 
   6.     Loans and borrowings: 

Secured bank loans are mortgage-type loans secured by reference to the Group's freehold property.

 
                           At 31 May   At 31 May   At 30 November 
                              2021        2020          2020 
                            GBP'000     GBP'000       GBP'000 
 Current: 
 Overdrafts (unsecured)      2,798       5,447         4,280 
 Bank loans (secured)         411         387           387 
 Bank loans (unsecured)     14,675      16,175         16,175 
 
                            17,884      22,009         20,842 
 
 
 Non- current: 
 Bank loans (secured)        5,651       5,946         5,881 
 
 Total loans and 
  borrowings                23,535      27,955         26,723 
 
 
 
   7.     Lease liabilities: 
 
 Current:                     At 31 May   At 31 May      At 30 November 
                                 2021          2020                2020 
                                GBP'000     GBP'000          GBP'000 
 
 Obligations under hire 
  purchase agreements (see 
  note 8)                         7,280       4,188            5,788 
 Other lease liabilities 
  (see note 9)                      417         731              552 
 
 Total current liabilities        7,697       4,919            6,340 
                             ==========  ==========  =============== 
 
 
 
 
 
 Non - current:                       At 31   At 31 May   At 30 November 
                                        May        2020             2020 
                                       2021 
                                    GBP'000     GBP'000          GBP'000 
 
 Obligations under hire 
  purchase agreements (see 
  note 8)                            31,866      16,262           31,309 
 Other lease liabilities 
  (see note 9)                        1,668       1,889            1,886 
 
 Total non - current liabilities     33,534      18,151           33,195 
                                   ========  ==========  =============== 
 
   8.     Hire purchase agreements: 

The Group's obligations under hire purchase agreements are secured by the lessors' rights over the leased assets.

 
                           At 31 May   At 31 May   At 30 November 
                              2021        2020          2020 
                            GBP'000     GBP'000       GBP'000 
 Present value: 
 Not later than one 
  year                       7,280       4,188         5,788 
 More than one but less 
  than two years             6,185       3,863         5,856 
 More than two but less 
  than five years           17,726       7,978         16,993 
 Later than five years       7,955       4,421         8,460 
                          ----------  ----------  --------------- 
                            39,146      20,450         37,097 
 
 
 
   9.     Other lease liabilities: 

Future lease payments for leases treated as finance leases under IFRS 16 but which take the legal form of rental agreements, without the legal right of ownership of the asset leased, are as follows:

 
                           At 31 May   At 31 May   At 30 November 
                              2021        2020          2020 
                            GBP'000     GBP'000       GBP'000 
 Present value: 
 Not later than one 
  year                        417         731           552 
 More than one but less 
  than two years              423         400           426 
 More than two but less 
  than five years             408         630           615 
 Later than five years        837         859           845 
                          ----------  ----------  --------------- 
                             2,085       2,620         2,438 
 
 
 

10. Dividends:

The Company last paid a dividend in December 2019 in relation to the six months ended 31 May 2019. One of the terms of the DfT grants is that bus companies may not pay dividends as long as the grant regime is in place. Accordingly, it will be necessary for the DfT grant regime to have ceased and normal bus operation to have re-commenced successfully before the Board may consider the resumption of dividend payments.

11. Additional information:

The unaudited Consolidated Interim Report was approved by the Board of Directors on 19 July 2021. The consolidated interim financial information for the six months ended 31 May 2021 and for the six months ended 31 May 2020 is unaudited. The financial information in this interim announcement does not constitute statutory accounts within the meaning of Section 434 of the Companies Act 2006. The statutory accounts of Rotala Plc for the year ended 30 November 2020 have been reported on by the Company's auditors and will be delivered to the Registrar of Companies by 31 August 2021. The report of the auditors on these accounts was unqualified, did not contain an emphasis of matter and did not include a statement under section 498 of the Companies Act 2006. Copies of the financial statements are available from the registered office of the Company at Rotala Group Headquarters, Cross Quays Business Park, Hallbridge Way, Tividale, Oldbury, West Midlands, B69 3HW and the Company's website www.rotalaplc.com .

 
 
 

12. Copies of this statement are available from the registered office of the Company at Rotala Group Headquarters, Cross Quays Business Park, Hallbridge Way, Tividale, Oldbury, West Midlands, B69 3HW and the Company's website www.rotalaplc.com .

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END

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