Sun | Dec 10, 2017

Knutsford Express to increase fleet in 2018

Published:Sunday | November 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder
The new Knutsford Express depot at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

Knutsford Express Services Limited will, in the coming year, be increasing its fleet of luxury buses from the current 27, which undertakes 300 trips weekly, chief executive officer and director Oliver Townsend said last week.

"We are continuing investments in our fleet of premium luxury coaches to better address increased customer demand while enhancing operational efficiency and passenger comfort," he said.

"The strong increase in revenues was as a result of strong growth in both passenger traffic as well as our courier service," he said of the company which transport packages between its terminals in the island's two cities and towns across the island, doing delivery every day except Christmas Day.

The company is also expecting a bump in inflows from the addition of the Sangster International Airport depot that opened its door to customers on November 15.

For the first quarter ended August 31, Knutsford Express revenues increased by 37 per cent to $237 million from $172 million during the corresponding period last year.

Net profit grew in the first quarter by 57 per cent from $36 million to $56 million, representing earnings per share of 12 cents, up from seven cents the previous year.

The company is hoping to further add to revenues from traffic improvement. The $51 million spent on fixed assets to date in 2017 contributed towards that goal, Townsend said.

In notes attached to the financials, Townsend said that was due to strong customer demand for passenger travel and the company's courier service.

The company also credited the favourable results to "improvement in accessibility and throughput times in our call operation centre".

 

WILL INCREASE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

 

Townsend said Knutsford Express' capital expenditure programme in 2018 will be concentrated on improving customer experience.

In addition to fleet improvement, he said, "we will continue investing in our customers' experience by building on recent improvements in our IT infrastructure and call centre platform. We will also be upgrading/expanding our depots to handle increased customer traffic as it relates to both our domestic and international travellers. To this end, we are looking forward to the addition of our Sangster International Airport depot that opened its door to customers on November 15, 2017."

Townsend added that "our increase in fixed assets in the first quarter of just over $51 million is reflective of our initiatives."

For 2018, he said, the company expects improved customer satisfaction and continued strong growth in revenues.

Queried about the cost of travelling on the coaches, Townsend said, "The company over the years has not had many price adjustments and we will continue in that vein to monitor and manage our cost of operations accordingly."

The value of the company's total assets as at August 31 was $648 million, a 40 per cent increase over the $462 recorded during the corresponding period last year.

On May 22, a five-to-one stock split was approved by shareholders. The company notes that the effective increase in its stock price year over year was 188 per cent from $26.11 per share pre-split to $14.47 per share post split.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com