Scotland business

Bus firm McGill's moves into loss

McGill's bus
Image caption McGill's is now Scotland's largest privately owned bus company.

West of Scotland bus firm McGill's has reported a loss for 2011 although turnover for the year increased.

Greenock-based McGill's achieved a rise in turnover from £11m to more than £15m.

However the company made a pre-tax loss of £552,000 compared with a £284,000 profit in 2010.

McGill 's blamed the loss largely on the impact of government "underfunding" of the concessionary travel scheme and said it expected a better year in 2012.

McGill's, which recently took over a rival firm, also said trading conditions were "difficult due to fluctuating fuel costs".

In a statement released on Tuesday, the bus firm said: "The figures relate to accounts to 31 December 2011 and the loss reported is, in the main, attributable to the impact of the government's underfunding of the concessionary travel scheme.

'Unfettered eligibility'

"The scheme is underfunded with unfettered eligibility which causes last minute unbudgeted clawbacks.

"The directors are confident of a more favourable performance in 2012 due to prudent financial management and the successful marketing of its enlarged network.

"Last week, McGill's recorded its highest ever number of passenger journeys in more than a decade - a clear indication of the ambitious company's ability to meet the demands of its passenger base and achieve passenger growth in a flat market."

At the end of 2011, McGill's announced it was buying Arriva Scotland West in a deal thought to be worth more than £10m.

That deal was referred to the Competition Commission and it formally cleared the takeover last month.

The financial details of the deal are not included in the latest set of accounts which were registered at Companies House.

McGill's Buses is now Scotland's largest privately-owned bus company, operating about 350 buses across more than 40 routes, mostly in the Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire areas.

It employs about 700 staff from the company's four depots in Greenock, Inchinnan, Johnstone and Barrhead.

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