The company reported a 48% rise in pre-tax profits to £47.6 million (1996: £32.2 million) on turnover up 33% to £702 million (1996: £529 million) with the enlarged bus division contributing pre-tax profits of £23.5 million (1996: £8.6 million) on turnover of £231.6 million (£68.7 million).
Chief executive Gordon Hodgson said: 'Our vehicle management operation is winning substantial outsourcing contracts with many of Britain's top companies, and we continue to develop profitably one of the country's most successful motor retailing networks.'
In the last 12 years the fleet has grown 13% from 68,000 to 77,000 vehicles and outsourcing contracts already signed mean a further 12,000 vehicles are in the pipeline. A total of 15,000 vehicles on the fleet are in outsourcing arrangements from 40 companies, including Marks & Spencer. A further nine are committed to outsourcing their fleets to Cowie.