Addison Lee, the British taxi hire company, more than doubled its profits last year as passenger demand returned and driver shortages eased after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Adjusted pre-tax earnings climbed to £19.1m, up from £7.9m last year, while passenger revenue jumped 33 per cent on last year, the firm said announcing its annual results today.
The announcement comes after a turbulent couple of years for taxi firms, where driver shortages have prevented the industry from fully bouncing back after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic saw more than 50 per cent of cabbies quit, according to estimates from the Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LHPCA) at the time, due to work falling off a cliff edge during lockdown and the high cost of licensing fees.
Addison Lee’s chief executive Liam Griffin said that an important reason for Addison Lee’s recent growth has been its ability to overcome this shortage.
“When we went into Covid, there were 120,000 licensed private hire drivers and coming out there were just under 90,000, so there’s a big drop off in supply of drivers for the market and therefore it became much more competitive,” Griffin told City A.M.
“We’ve had to reconfigure our driver deal. We’ve massively enhanced the driver deal to reflect cost of fuel, cost of living, and just the general competition in the market,” he added.
Addison Lee said its taxi operators now earn on average 30 per cent more than before the pandemic, with the firm describing its package as the “most competitive in the industry.”
“Our recruitment efforts have paid off and we’ve over-delivered on our target of recruiting 1,000 new drivers, adding over 1,500 more since the beginning of 2022,” Griffin said.
“With over 5,000 vehicles on our fleet, we’re in a good position to offer our customers the best service in the industry.”