Monday, 1st October 2018
Wrights Group Limited, the privately-owned bus manufacturing business, reported a solid performance across its business in the financial year ending 31st December 2017 in new products and developing international markets, despite significant current challenges in both in the UK and overseas.
Consolidated accounts for the Group, which include five UK-based subsidiaries and four overseas-based entities, showed a profit before tax for the year ended 31st December 2017 of £1,510,000 (2016: £10,717,000) on a slightly reduced group wide turnover of £227,157,000 (2016: £264,383,000).
The total equity on the group’s balance sheet at the 2017 year end increased to £42,326,000 (2016: £40,914,000), with a £4,833,476 net cash inflow (2016 net outflow: £ 13,963,541) from operating activities during the year.
Wrightbus Limited – the Ballymena-based bus business which accounted for £181,329,000 (2016: £214,605,000) or nearly 80% of turnover across the group in 2017, delivered a profit before tax of £5,020,000 (2016: £6,087,000).
“Our 2017 results have to be seen in the context of challenges in both the UK and our overseas markets” said Group Finance Director Kirsty McBride. “We experienced a change in the mix in our UK business in 2017, with significant one-off costs in our overseas subsidiaries, coupled with the completion of the primary revenue generating contract in Singapore.
“Notwithstanding the anticipated reduction in profit for 2017, the group continued to invest strongly in research and development to safeguard our ability to continue to compete in markets worldwide in the long term, with expenditure in 2017 standing at nearly £5m. All of this R&D spend continues to be written off against profit in the years in which it is incurred, in line with our cautious accounting policy.”
She added: “On a consolidated basis, Wrights Group balance sheet remains exceptionally strong, with net assets of over £42m, robust liquidity with a current asset to current liabilities ratio of 1.89:1, and no significant long-term debt.”
Commenting on the publication of the latest financial results, Chairman & CEO Mark Nodder OBE said: “During the course of the last year we took significant strides to open up new markets for our international business, which we are confident will diversify and strengthen our customer base. Our continued investment in new driveline technology places us at the forefront of building the best bus for the 21st Century and our move to a new 90 acre site in Ballymena has given us an industry leading production facility.
“Our core strengths remain in place and, while 2018 has proved to be an even more challenging year from a financial perspective, group wide we remain in a good position to take full advantage of the upturn in the market when trading conditions improve.”