26 June 2016

Manganese takes black cab to Azerbaijan

Ben Jaglom

Manganese Bronze (MNG), the manufacturer of the London Taxi has announced that it has won a substantial order from the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The company, which last year moved to AIM after 70 years on the main market, reported that it would be supplying 1,000 taxis in a deal worth $27 million through its joint venture with Chinese car manufacturer Geely with a new private company 'the Baku Taxi Company' having been created to update the capital's fleet with London taxis.

Speaking to Growth Company Investor, CEO John Russell explained that the 'oil-rich country' had been talking to Manganese 'for a year' adding that the country had decided it wanted to upgrade its taxis and that Manganese represented the 'best prospect' for new taxis.

Conceding that it is 'an unusual place' Russell notes that it does have 'a direct flight from Heathrow to Baku.' Russell argued that London's taxis are known for having 'the best service' of anywhere in the world which he opined was 'half because of the taxi and half because of the customer service.'

As part of the goal of maintaining the reputation of the London taxi, he remarked that Manganese would be undertaking training in Baku on getting local drivers 'up to speed' that would include the development of 'customer handling skills' and the usage of the taxi, with Russell enthusing that Manganese can make versions 'for almost any conditions in the world.'

Looking forward he drew attention to recent sales to territories including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, ading that the company is having 'a number of similar chats along the same lines.'

Recommended by Growth Company Investor in July at 41p, the shares, which have gained almost 50 percent this morning are currently trading at 55.25p having started the day at 37p. We reiterate our speculative buy advice.

Tags: An unusual place, Azerbaijan, Baku, Black cab, Direct flight to Heathrow, Guv'nor, Manganese Bronze

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