ON A day of misery for train passengers following multiple train strikes, Tracsis said its transport software could help solve the problems of train delays, over-crowding and derailments.
The Leeds-based group said that ever increasing demand means capacity needs to grow and it will always be a problem.
Tracsis chief executive John McArthur said: “We help train companies with their delays. We help operators with time tables and fleet management.
“Train services are not as good as they should be. We try and help operators with their problems. The problems passengers face are actually a good thing for Tracsis.”
He was speaking as the firm reported a big jump in annual profits. Tracsis said it had seen a year of progress, consolidation and growth following the acquisitions of SEP and Ontrac, which have substantially increased the group’s client base.
Revenue rose 6 per cent to £34.5m in the year to July 31 and pre-tax profit rose 14 per cent to £4.6m.
Mr McArthur said that part of the problem facing train operating companies is finite capacity and growing demand.
“Tracsis’ services are about squeezing more out of the current network,” he said.
“You can’t just lay down new tracks willy nilly.”
He said that the Government wants the infrastructure to be much more closely aligned to train operating companies.
“From a passenger point of view it is slightly perplexing that the network is almost at loggerheads with the train operating companies,” he said.
“There is a strong argument that they should work more closely together and not have a bun fight over train delays. We provide the tools that aid collaboration.
“We provide systems for sharing the information to create one version of the truth. It’s a very niche market.”
Tracsis offers train companies remote condition monitoring with 15,000 data loggers that monitor critical assets such as points.
“The information can predict failures,” said Mr McArthur.
“The idea is you can fix things before they fail. We can predict that a point may fail in a week’s time so it can be fixed at midnight before then. We can also predict demand for services.”
He said that there is a lot of information that isn’t used by train operators that Tracsis can harness to predict future failures and customer demand.
With bookmakers shortening the odds on a General Election next year and Jeremy Corbyn leading Labour to power, Mr McArthur said he wasn’t worried about Mr Corbyn’s plans to re-nationalise Britain’s railways.
“I would have thought a move to investment and a strengthening of unions would be a good thing for Tracsis,” he said.
In a research note entitled “All signals showing green”, Investec analyst Roger Phillips said: “Tracsis results are 4 to 5 per cent ahead on key metrics and we suspect the year has started well.
“We leave forecasts unchanged, but note upside potential in due course. The sources of this are varied, from large software wins, to an improving spend environment in remote condition monitoring and margin upside in Traffic & Data Services. When augmented by likely M&A, earnings per share two or three years out could end up being considerably higher than current forecasts. Tracsis is a core pick for us.”
Tracsis said it has delivered a good financial result set against a backdrop of substantial industry change within the rail sector.