Black cab firm cuts losses on growth abroad

MANGANESE Bronze, the maker of London’s traditional black cabs, has posted a narrower annual loss as overseas demand for its vehicles grew and margins increased.

The Coventry-based company reduced pre-tax losses to £2.6m in 2011, down from £6.3m the year before, and said it is well positioned to place a profit in 2012.

Sales of new taxis in London increased four per cent to 1,074 vehicles, but sales in the rest of the UK market fell by almost a third to 428.

Export sales more than tripled to 705 vehicles in 2011.

Manganese Bronze, which is 20 per cent owned by China’s largest private car maker Geely Automobile, said it shipped 500 vehicles to Azerbaijan in February 2012 and more orders are pending.

Shares of the London-listed company, which have lost nearly a fifth of their value since the beginning of this year, dropped five per cent to 25p.