The finance division, which largely comprises Arriva Automotive Solutions, achieved pre-tax profits of £34.5 million (£34.8 million) on turnover up 12% to £277 million (£248 million), for its 80,000-strong fleet. Michael Gwilt, group managing director, said the company had forecast static profits for 1997 due to flat growth in the fleet three to four years previously. He added that expansion had been firmly back on the agenda for the past 15 months, and the results of this will gradually begin to filter through.
Arriva Motor Retailing, the group's motor division, saw pre-tax profits rise 26% to £14.7 million (£11.6 million) thanks to a substantial increase in retail new car sales. Arriva's results coincided with announcements of a restructuring of the group's board which will see chief executive Gordon Hodgson become executive chairman on January 1, 1999. Group managing director Michael Gwilt will become chief executive, and non-executive chairman Sir James McKinnon will become deputy chairman.