McGill's Buses drives profits and turnover higher

Greenock-based McGill's Buses has accelerated profit and turnover in its latest annual results, saying this came despite challenges including bad weather denting passenger numbers.

McGill's saw its profits accelerate by 12.5% last year. Picture: Contributed

Pre-tax profit grew 12.5 per cent to £3.6 million for the year ending 27 December, 2015 while sales jumped £3m to £38.3m.

McGill’s directors said the results were achieved against a difficult backdrop, with congestion on the road network also among hurdles.

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Managing director Ralph Roberts, stressing the headwinds, said: “The period covered by the results was greatly affected by poor weather, which has a knock-on effect on both the number of passengers and the distance travelled by those passengers.

“We also experienced problems with the road network, especially around the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, whilst there was a notable increase in congestion generally.”

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Roberts also noted a “significant” increase in the cost of operations for the company, founded in 1949 and now with more than 800 staff and depots in Greenock, Barrhead, Hamilton, Inchinnan and Johnstone.

Referring to the past five years, he added that “both frontline staff and McGill’s management have worked hard over this period to expand the company whilst simultaneously improving customer experience through new fleets and routes”.

McGill’s Buses is owned by Arranglen, the investment vehicle of the Easdale family. James Easdale said the business had “exceeded expectations” against a tough backdrop.

He said: “McGill’s is well placed to continue its expansion, and the board is ambitious that as an independent operator it can continue to punch above its weight. Our performance allows us to invest in new vehicles.”