Tramlink Nottingham – the company who operate Nottingham Express Transit – have posted their latest accounts which have shown a loss of over £18 million in the past year; a not insignificant sum but one which is £48.5 million less than the previous years loss. Operating under a private finance initiative it is said that figures such as this are not uncommon with officials from both Tramlink Nottingham and Nottingham City Council saying there is no cause for concern.
The total loss for year ending 31st March 2018 is £18.79 million with turnover rising from £60.6m to £61.5m. This helped to contribute towards an overall gross profit of £15.2m (up from £13.3m the year before). The report also confirmed that passenger numbers increased from 16.4m to 17.8m with the number of passenger miles said to be 117.2m. The amount owed to creditors did increase significantly, however, from £24m in 2017 to £307m in 2018 (including £277m in bank loans).
A spokesman from Tramlink Nottingham commented in the Nottingham Post: “We are delighted that passenger numbers continue to rise and would like to thank our customers for their continued and growing support. Over the past 12 months, improving the customer experience has continued to be a high priority and we value the feedback we receive. It helps us shape our plans for the future and we are looking forward to sharing some exciting new initiatives with customers over the coming months. In common with any Private Finance Initiative (PFI) concession, commercial lending is used to fund the delivery of new infrastructure and interest payments are profiled throughout the course of the contract in accordance with agreements with the lenders. In Tramlink’s case, the concession’s commercial debt reflects the front-end costs incurred in constructing the two new tramlines and buying new trams. The company’s loss before taxation of £18.8m (last year £48.5m) reflects this and is stated after taking into account interest charges of £31.8m. During the year the company fully serviced all third-party debt requirements and repaid £15.2m of loans.”
Cllr Dave Liversidge, Portfolio holder for Transport on Nottingham City Council, said: “The tram is an integral part of Nottingham’s world class public transport network and we’re really pleased the use of the tram network is continuing to grow. The nature of Tramlink’s accounts appear typical for the contractual arrangements that are in place and we are confident they will continue to deliver a successful tram service for the city.”
Tramlink Nottingham are now seven years into a 22 year concession to maintain and operate the NET system.