Black Cab Firm Makes No Profit in 2011

Black cabThe firm that makes London’s iconic black cabs, Manganese Bronze, has said that it had made no profit in 2011 and warns they may fall short of expectations this year.

The company pointed their finger at the weak UK economy, doubt over the global economic outlook and a wait in fulfilling an order for 1,000 taxis from Azerbaijan.

According to Manganese Bronze, they sold 1,502 cabs in the UK last year, compared with 1,653 in 2010, a drop of 9.1%.

However, overseas sales were much stronger.

The firm sold 226 vehicles in 2010, compared with 705 in 2011.

The company secured a $27m (£18m) order from Azerbaijan, its single biggest order to date in March 2011.

But a delay in shipping the second half of this order, which was due to be dispatched in October, means the firm will not record a profit in 2011.

The company said in a statement: “The overall impact of lower UK sales and a delayed fulfilment of the Azerbaijan order will prevent the group from achieving a profitable result for the year ended 31 December 2011,”

The firm had previously suggested that it expected to return to profit last year.

The statement continued: “Whilst a proportion of this shortfall should be recovered when the delayed Azerbaijan sales are recorded in 2012, any continued softening of global economic conditions would mean that the group is likely to fall short of meeting expectations for the current year,”

It’s not only the firm that is struggling to make a profit. As the number of people using cabs decrease, so do the earnings for cabbies, which doesn’t help as the cost to run a taxi has increased, including taxi insurance and fuel costs.

As part of its restructuring, the production was switched from Coventry to China. Geely, Chinese car group, owns 20% of Manganese.

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