Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Meter Still Running on Zingo Service Losses at Manganese

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Meter Still Running on Zingo Service Losses at Manganese

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES ROSSITER

BLACK-cabs maker Manganese Bronze has taken a [pounds sterling]2.6 million charge after failing to persuade enough drivers to sign up to its lossmaking Zingo taxi-ordering service, writes James Rossiter.

Hailed as "revolutionary" a year ago by chief executive Ian Pickering, the mobile phone-based service which can trace the nearest cab to a caller's location, racked up losses of [pounds sterling]4.1 million for the year ending 31 July, against [pounds sterling]3.3 million a year ago.

Zingo is expected to be loss-making too this financial year, Pickering warned, despite a restructuring in March aimed at halving the division'smonthly operating losses. A big Zingo recruitment drive in the run-up to last Christmas saw the number of drivers signed up to the [pounds sterling]10a-week rent rise to 1200 but this has since fallen to 1100.

Pickering said he is in talks with other firms to strike "a block signing" of users. …

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