Despite the turbulence of the last year, Yorkshire-headquartered family business Pelican Engineering Co Ltd (known as Pelican Engineering Group), which partners with some of the world’s biggest vehicle manufacturers to supply, coaches and buses, is continuing to perform strongly.
The company’s latest financial results for the year ending 31 March 2021, show that underlying turnover grew by 9.3%, rising to £43.4m from £39.7m the previous year. The 102 year-old firm also saw profit rise to £3.5m across the whole business, even amid the disruption caused by the pandemic.
While sales of passenger coaches suffered from the impact of the pandemic on the travel sector in 2020 as coach tour operators froze fleet investments, this was offset by the continued demand for DAF and MAN powered vehicles as well as the rapid rise in sales of zero-emission electric buses across the UK.
Over its history, Pelican has adapted with advances in commercial vehicle technology, and is at the forefront of the revolution to move to zero-emission passenger vehicles with its 160-strong team commissioning and fitting out state-of-the-art Yutong electric buses at its Castleford workshops.
Richard Crump, managing director of Pelican Engineering, comments: “Despite some major challenges to the UK and global economy over the last 18 months, as a third-generation family business we are in a strong position to deal with change.
“Fortunately, the momentum from local authorities and bus operators to move to zero-emission vehicles has continued to gather pace and our partnership to supply the world-leading Yutong vehicles has not been disrupted by the pandemic. We now have 50 electric buses in service nationally with this number rising to 201 by the end of 2021, making us the largest single-deck electric bus supplier in the UK this year.
“As the company goes from strength to strength, we are continuing to invest in our people with an ongoing training programme and we continue to invest in the recruitment of skilled engineers, tradespeople and apprentices at our Yorkshire base. We are also undertaking improvements to our facilities in Castleford to ensure we can continue to reliably and swiftly meet demand from Britain and Ireland’s transport providers as they transition to cleaner and more sustainable vehicles.”
Head of Pelican Yutong Bus, Ian Downie adds: “It has been another exciting year for Pelican as the UK’s local authorities and bus operators have turned to our Yutong buses, not only because they have less impact on the environment, but also because they provide a more comfortable passenger experience with no noise or vibration, as well as a long track record of reliability. In addition, operators are also recognising the benefits of enhanced driveability and best-in-market operating costs. With COP26 approaching fast, we are expecting this trajectory to continue into 2022 and beyond.”