Tuesday, 27 February 2018 11:31

Technology a key contributor to growth, says Cabcharge


Taxi fleet operator Cabcharge attributes significant technology initiatives to contributing to the company’s growth over the half year to the end of December and delivery of $90 million in revenue.

“Cabcharge is now emerging from its transformation program with accelerating momentum.  The additional investments we are making in our world-class technology and marketing capabilities are improving our engagement with passengers, drivers and operators,” says Cabcharge managing director and chief executive Andrew Skelton.

“We are encouraged by the positive signs in our key metrics in both our payment turnover and taxi network affiliations.  

“Our operations now benefit from a deeper spread of activities across the value chain, no debt, and stronger effectiveness in technology and marketing.  Our strategic investments are generating green shoots and we can see that the strategies they support are working to deliver sustained revenue growth.”

Skelton said Cabcharge has followed through on its commitment to increase investment in marketing and technology in pursuit of its strategy to be Australia’s leader in the growing market for personal transport.

“There are compelling signs the increased investment is delivering, with Cabcharge commencing the second half by achieving double-digit growth in fares processed from bank issued and third party cards compared to the prior corresponding period,” he said.

Cabcharge reports that $515 million in total fares were processed in 1H18, signalling what it says is a return to growth in this key metric.

And Cabcharge says increased investment in technology capabilities and software development is having an impact in the field.

In the last half year, the company released 53 new software versions for its payment devices, as well as delivering “a number of successful technology initiatives” including:

  • Upgrades to 13CABS app functionality (contributing to a 4.7 star rating in Apple’s App Store);
  • Cabcharge and Alipay payment solutions;
  • A new voice recognition system for bookings which incorporates vehicle tracking technology; and
  • CabAccess, a web portal designed for Taxi Operators to support their fleet management via access to booking information, Driver communications, fleet movements and trip metrics.

“Spotto and Giraffe handheld terminals are driving growth in New South Wales and Victoria.  Spotto terminals have now been released in Queensland and South Australia.  In January 2018 we had deployed 5,252 handheld terminals and are targeting 8,000 of our handheld terminals to be in the market by June 2018,” Cabcharge notes.

Cabcharge also reports that its taxi network business is growing substantially, with affiliated fleet size increasing by 1,352 cars in 1H18 to 8,729 cars, representing an 18.3% increase since June 2017.  

The acquisition of Yellow Cabs Queensland — completed on 31 July 2017 — broadened the network’s footprint and is performing to expectations contributing $15.5 million in revenue so far, the company reports.

Cabcharge also reported an underlying EBITDA of $18 million and underlying NPAT of $7.2 million.  

And, on a statutory basis, Cabcharge reported a net loss after tax of $5.1 million including a non-cash impairment charge of $12.3 million on taxi licence plates.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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