Taxi maker sticks to black
The good news continued yesterday when MB reported more than doubled pre-tax profits of pounds 4.2m in the year to July, up from pounds 2.04m. Production of black cabs is running at 52 a week, up from 44 last year and well over 50 per cent higher than at the bottom of the recession.
Although the outlook is clouded a little by political uncertainty, there is no reason to doubt that steady growth should continue. But MB's future sales are underpinned anyway by the impending deadline for all taxis to be made accessible by the disabled. The company launched its own wheelchair- friendly Fairway eight years ago.
Already second-hand models dating from the late 1980s are worth pounds 2,000 more than non-accessible vehicles, reflecting the approach of the cut- off point early next century. The lion's share of the replacements are almost certain to come from MB.
Meanwhile, profits are growing in the rest of the business. Taxis remain the backbone of the group, raising their contribution 28 per cent to pounds 4.12m last year, but the automotive components operation saw its profits more than triple to pounds 829,000. Further elimination of loss-makers should see further recovery.
The group remains heavily exposed to the yen, the currency in which it buys the engines for its cabs, but recently the trend has been running in MB's favour. Profits of pounds 5.2m this year would put the shares, up 5p at 192p yesterday, on a prospective multiple of nine. Reasonable value, although the market is thin, with 44 per cent of the equity in family hands.
Have shock jocks gone too far after Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut?
Former Google exec says he has 100,000 emails showing how 'immoral' company avoids paying UK tax
British business: We need to stay in the European Union - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
World news in pictures
British father faces charges after confessing to slitting his two children's throats in Lyon flat
- 1 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 2 British business: We need to stay in the European Union - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 3 The moral case on tax avoidance is overwhelming - and we all know Google wants to do the right thing
- 4 Sam Wallace: The second coming of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea will be a reunion that can only end in tears
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
iJobs Money & Business
£500 - £680 per day: Orgtel: Quantitative Risk Analyst, Front Office/Risk Bank...
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Pension: Orgtel: Quantitative Analyst, ...
£550 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Fidessa Analyst / PM - Banking - London - Up to £...
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Sourcing Manager - Banking - London - Up to £500p...