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More trips, passengers boost revenue at Knutsford Express

Published:Wednesday | October 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM
In this 2015 file photo, director of operations Anthony Copeland (left) and managing director Oliver Townsend stand next to one of the luxury coaches operated by Knutsford Express.

Transport company Knutsford Express Limited earned more revenues from increased highway usage, but its expenses flattened net profit to $36 million for the first quarter ending August.

That equated to a 1.1 per cent rise in net profit than a year ago and flat earnings per share of 36 cents.

Revenues increased 21 per cent to $173 million due to passenger growth. The company attributed some of the gains to the opening of the North South Highway, which cut the commute time between Ocho Rios and Kingston and allowed for more bus runs.

"The expanded schedule introduced on the north coast with the full opening of the North-South Highway has allowed us to increase customer convenience and travel options," said a statement attached to the quarterly financial report. "Our customers now benefit from a reduced travel time on the north coast with added departures including non-stop trips (Kingston Montego Bay express)."

The company explained that the rise in general and administrative expenses was due to increased staffing, parts and supplies to deal with its expanded schedule. Expenses increased by $30 million growing to $133.5 million.

During the year, the Montego Bay-based company continued to invest heavily in its fleet with total assets growing 35 per cent to $462 million. Knutsford's annualised return on equity hovers at 47 per cent, the bus company said. This equates to one of the highest among listed companies.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com