Published: October 2, 2019 | Updated: October 3, 2019

Exclusive: Yellows in the red after clocking £2m loss (but MD insists: ‘we’ve turned corner’)

Yellow Buses, the trading name of Bournemouth Transport Ltd, wracked up pre-tax losses of nearly £2m under former French owners RATP Dev.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Bosses at Yellow Buses insist the company has ‘turned a corner’ and is on the road to recovery despite clocking up losses of just under £2 million last year.

The latest accounts for Bournemouth Transport Ltd show pre-tax losses in the year to December 31 increased by £158,000 to £1.975m (2017: £1.817m).

Revenue was down 3.2 per cent at £18.726m (2017: £19.361m).

The full-year figures were the final ones under the previous French owners, RATP Dev.

In July Bournemouth Transport, which trades under the name Yellow Buses, was acquired by its management team for an undisclosed sum.

David Squire, who was appointed Managing Director in October 2017 and led the management buyout, said: “Clearly these are disappointing results, but we have turned the corner.

“In the year ending December 2018 we invested heavily by bringing in 20 newer buses, installing contactless payment on the buses and introducing free wi-fi across the fleet. Our network was revamped and simplified to make it easier to use.

“We are now starting to see the fruits of our labour with steady passenger growth this year.

“We have also introduced new services, including the extension to New Milton on 1A and to Wimborne on 6, together with an increasing night bus service, now on two routes, which are increasing the number of passengers we are carrying.

“With the company now back under local ownership we have every confidence that Yellow Buses will be profitable again in the coming years.

“It is always worth noting that during 2018 we were up against high levels of congestion, together with the effect of the A338 roadworks, and a changing retail landscape that meant fewer people were visiting the town centre.

“With the changes we have made and the up-front investment in technology and the fleet we have prepared the business for a bright future.”

The 2018 accounts reveal that Mr Squire was paid £102,680 during the year with a further £10,114 in pension contributions.