Wednesday, 22 October 2014

ParkingEye profits warning

The Prankster wonders whether ParkingEye will be issuing a profits warning soon.

Large numbers of motorists are cottoning on that their charge levels are too high, and appealing to POPLA, where ParkingEye do not even bother to defend the appeal. Motorists can appeal by themselves, but it is better to get help from forums like MoneySavingExpert and pepipoo, where success is guaranteed.

For motorists who are busy and do not have the time to spare, services such as ParkingTicketAppeals will do the work for you. ParkingTicketAppeals alone are costing ParkingEye over £1 million a year in lost revenue, and another £250,000 in POPLA fees. They charge £16 and guarantee that your ticket will be cancelled or they will pay it for you.

ParkingEye's operating profit in 2013 was £1.6 million. Taking the figures at face value and assuming no other change, this means their current profit could be slashed to £350,000. If a few more motorists become aware of services like ParkingTicketAppeals, then ParkingEye's accounts could easily slip into the red.

The Prankster will keep an eye on the situation, and an ear to the newswires to see if a profits warning is in the offing.

One way for ParkingEye to resolve the situation would be to set their charges to a level which is a genuine pre-estimate of loss. This was shown to be just under £20 in ParkingEye v Beavis and Wardley. Currently, with charges at 5 times this level, they are in breach of the British Parking Association code of practice, which requires that charges be set at a genuine pre-estimate of loss.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. When Capita acquired ParkingEye the following Turnover &Profits were forecast for the year to 31st Aug. 2014

    "ParkingEye is forecasting an operating profit of £8.1 million on turnover of £25.8 million in its financial year to 31 August 2014"

    Based, no doubt, on this forecast Capita paid £57.5 million for ParkingEye.

    The forecast was considered by many to be extremely optimistic on the part of ParkingEye, but no doubt pushed up the sale price to Capita.

    In the previous year to Aug. 2013 Parking Eye had produced profits of £1.0 million on a turnover of £14.2 million. The year prior to that profits of £3.3. million on a turnover of £13.9 million.

    If I were a shareholder in Capita I would be questioning the board as to how they could justify such a high price for PE and what due diligence they performed to validate PE's forecast.

    See the following link to Capita's website for more information.

  2. You have to remember that the figure for turnover is based only on parking tickets PAID. So if the % of tickets paid go up, then both turnover and profits will increase; of course the reverse could happen.

    However any investment in a company who's major source of income is from claims for breach of contract or "commercially justified" penalties cannot be considered "sound" as there are far too many variables.

  3. This says it all:

    Lean days eh?

  4. I blame it on all those of £50s they pay Rachel Ledson each time she issues court papers.

  5. Thank you for that. I note that according to the above website.

    In the year 2012-2013

    Their cash reserves have fallen from £6.2m to £2.0m (-68%)
    Their Net Worth fell from £7.26m to £2.8m (-62%)
    Their Liabilities increased from £4.91m to £8.3m (+70%)

    It is even more surprising that Capita thought PE a good investment and were willing to pay £57.5 million to acquire the company.

    The figures for the year to August 2014 will make interesting reading when they are released in April 2015.

    1. Their accounting reference date has changed from 31 August to 31 December. Gives them another 4 months to hide the bad news...

    2. Capita PLC has a 31st December year end, so it may have been changed to bring in it line.

      Furthermore, the decision in the Court of Appeal case should be known by the time the accounts are signed. Could be an interesting Post Balance Sheet event!

  6. Nothing to do with this post, just wanted to say I've tried to contact you twice in the past fortnight without even getting an acknowledgement. Once by email and once using your contact form. Something I said...?