UK lorry driver crisis boosts transport software firm Microlise

FILE PHOTO: Lorries are seen at an HGV parking, at Cobham services on the M25 motorway, Cobham, Britain, August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - British transport software firm Microlise saw annual core earnings jump by more than a third as a shortage of truck drivers and cost pressures forced the industry to try to become more efficient.

Britain's departure from the European Union, the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of drivers has strained supply chains across the country, making the efficient management of fleets increasingly important, especially when driver wages are rising.

Microlise Chief Executive Nadeem Raza told Reuters that customers were under pressure to deliver more orders without increasing costs.

"They are going to look at other ways of saving money within their operations as they don't want to pass on those costs to their customers," he said.

Microlise, which listed on London's junior AIM market late July, said on Tuesday earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation jumped 37% to 7.6 million pounds ($10.4 million) in the 12 months to the end of June.

Revenue rose 14% to 57 million pounds.

Microlise, whose shares have surged over 70% since listing, analyses fleet and driver data to help clients improve output and save fuel.

Its shares were up 1.1% in early trade, giving it a market value of 272 million pounds.

Microlise added 50 new customers in the year, with strong demand for its services as Britain grapples with an acute shortage of heavy goods vehicle drivers that has most recently left fuel stations running dry.

The company, which also helps customers comply with stricter environmental regulation, now has over 400 clients.

($1 = 0.7311 pounds)

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

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