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Pages 2002 - Dial-a-Cab

Pages 2002 - Dial-a-Cab

Convincing ourselves we

Convincing ourselves we arethe best is not difficultIt’s proving itto the client5

Letter from Brian Rice, Chairman of Dial-a-CabDear ShareholdersAs someone who has been associated with Dial-a-Cab for 28years, the last 6 as Chairman. I feel especially proud to be writingthis report in our 50th year of trading - our golden anniversary. Aunique milestone for any organisation, but particularly so for members co-operative which when formed 50 years ago by asmall group of drivers, none of whom could possibly haveenvisaged it growing into what it is today, a statement confirmedonly last year by one of that group of men, namely Bonnie Martinour Society’s founder Chairman, who sadly passed away earlierthis year at the age of 92.I would have been equally as proud had I been able to report inour 50th year similar figures to those achieved during the last five.Unfortunately, the past year has been a particularly difficulttrading period for all the licensed Radio Taxi Circuits in Londonwith Dial-a-Cab being no exception. The downturn started inMay 2001 as the City based clients began to shed staff and puttheir expenditure under the microscope. The catastrophic eventsthat were to follow that year - namely September 11 - furtherexacerbated the situation in an already nervous market.As I pointed out in last year’s report, the introduction of the newnight tariff would in my opinion have a negative effect on ourbusiness, because I genuinely believed the timing to be insensitiveand the taxi industry would be seen to be greedy and grasping. Ibelieve my prediction has proven to be correct, many of thelarge corporates have now adopted a policy of using fewer taxisat night in favour of the unlicensed trade and others are onlyallowing staff the facility of a taxi after 23:00hrs.In the past, the taxi trade has always been an open target to beattacked by various sections of the media when news is short.Regrettably in recent times those attacks appear to be morevociferous and sustained. However, despite the above, I ampleased to report that although our turnover is down 17.7% thefinancial strength of Dial-a-Cab has been maintained due to thelong term prudent strategy of the current Board.In my last two End of Year Reports, I did inform shareholders thatour surplus would be less than in previous years as thedepreciation cost of new equipment for the fleet began to takeits toll. This has proven to be the case, and will continue until 2004.However, this will not have any major impact on the Society’sfinancial standing. As you will see on page 13 the depreciationfigure this year is in excess of £1.3m, which, coupled with oursurplus will give some indication of the phenomenal progress thisSociety has made in recent years. Some of this has been due tothe adoption of more professional and commercial practices,which has kept other costs under tight control and I believe thatshareholders can draw much satisfaction from what has beenachieved.6

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