Addison Lee returns to profitability and sees rapid post-COVID growth

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Addison Lee – London’s largest quality private hire, courier, and black taxi provider – has today announced its financial results, achieving an Adjusted EBITDA of £7.9 million for the year ended 31 August 2021 on a turnover of £164 million.

The positive results come just 2 years following the takeover of the business, with the change in ownership finalised on the same day that the first UK national lockdown was announced on 23rd March 2020.

Over the course of the last two years, the leadership team has had to make numerous tough decisions for the long-term success of the business. Faced with significant challenges posed by the onset of the global pandemic and legacy issues left by the previous management team, the firm worked to immediately reduce losses, exiting loss-making international operations to focus on the firm’s home and key market in London. It also worked to prioritise the relationship with its partner drivers, providing support during the pandemic and ensuring they earn the best rates in London, alongside giving them access to holiday pay, sick leave, and the option of a pension.

Now, with London opening up this year, the firm has already achieved a significant uplift in business, showing a 47% year-on-year growth in passenger revenue and a 53% year-on-year growth in EBITDA between February 2021 and February 2022.

Addison Lee’s CEO, Liam Griffin, commented: “As London returns to business as usual, we know that this is just the beginning for us. By focussing on our core strengths, our expert management team have successfully managed to offset the difficult financial situation that we inherited in 2020, all while launching new initiatives to support Londoners and keep the capital moving during the pandemic. And with travel now returning to levels seen in 2019, we are confident that this is the start of a return to significant growth for the business.”

Following its consolidation, in July last year the firm acquired ComCab London, becoming the capital’s largest taxi and private hire operator. The deal gives its customers access to all premium London ground transport services they require under one platform – from black taxi, to courier, and chauffeur – while also increasing the firm’s number of professional partner drivers and upping its supply of vehicles to over 6,500.

Alongside its acquisition of ComCab London, last year the firm also announced its plans for a rapid transition to electric vehicles for its core London fleet, to be completed by the end of 2023. Addison Lee is leading the industry in sustainability, already investing £18 million to roll out its first 450 Volkswagen ID.4s. These vehicles will remove 11,000 tCO2 over their three-year lifecycle and improve air quality across the communities in which the company operates. This reinforces the 3-year-old ‘Greener Future Programme’ which has seen Addison Lee offset over 35,000 tCO2 from its passenger and courier services since 2019, establishing it as the leading green transport provider in London.

Despite various changes over the last two years, the firm’s commitment to its partner drivers has remained a top priority. Dedicated to providing the best career opportunities in the industry, last year Addison Lee introduced its new industry-leading driver package – with the best rates in London, the firm now guarantees the London Living Wage, offers holiday pay, and provides a range of other benefits including sick pay, life cover, and an attractive driver pension scheme. For new drivers, Addison Lee also guarantees £5,000 gross for the first month of work, and currently top earners make over £2,000 per week – cementing the firm’s position as the destination of choice for London’s best drivers.

Griffin continued: “Sitting here today, we’re extremely optimistic about the future of our business. Since we’ve come back into the business, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to our drivers, and with the continuing support from our investors and several new ventures underway, there’s much more to come.

We know first-hand the role that the transport sector must play in tackling climate change, and we’re extremely proud of the work we’ve done to become an industry leader in the transition. With the electrification of our fleet moving at pace and our ongoing push to meet London’s demand for safe, quality, and reliable travel, we are confident that as London gets back on its feet, we’ll continue to grow and be here to support the city that we love and have called home for over 45 years.”

END