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Yorkshire bus manufacturer announces narrowing of pre-tax loss

Yorkshire based bus manufacturer Optare has announced a narrowing of its pre-tax loss by £6m.

In the year ended March 31 2013, the firm, which is based in Sherburn in Elmet, posted a pre-tax loss of £7.4m, down from £13.4m the previous year.

The company has launched three new products, Metrocity, Versa 11.7m and Bonito, which, along with consolidation of its manufacturing sites and investment in new headquarters, has helped revenue grow 6% to £75.9m over the same period.

In 2011, Optare moved to a new factory in Sherburn in Elmet in North Yorkshire. The opening of the production site saw the closure of facilities in Leeds and Blackburn and the sale of the company’s Rotherham site.

Interim chief executive Per Gustav Nilsson acknowledged the challenging market conditions in which the firm operates, but remained confident of future improvement.

He said: “I am pleased to report that we are now seeing the positive rewards resulting from consolidating the manufacturing sites and the significant investment in our new facilities. We have made considerable progress in supply chain cost reduction, implementing manufacturing efficiencies and further improving the quality of our products, and we continue to focus on our processes to drive continuous improvement.”

“We are confident that we have built solid foundations for stability and growth to meet future challenges, secure in the knowledge that we have the support and backing of [parent company] Ashok Leyland.”

Optare said its current order book stands at £20.2m, and highlighted the export of 177 Solo kits to the City of Cape Town - the highest ever export order achieved by Optare.

Optare are also investing in Electric Vehicle (EV) technology, and won the prestigious society of motor manufacturers and traders (SMMT) award for innovation for fast charging electric vehicle technology.

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