Deutsche and Lloyds keep
Porterbrook sale on hold

Deutsche Bank and Lloyds Banking Group
might reconsider selling their stakes in Porterbrook Leasing, it
has been reported. Citing sources familiar with negotiations,
Financial News magazine said the two banking groups have opted not
to sell their shares in the UK train leasing company. BNP
Paribas-owned Antin Infrastructure, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds TSB and
OP Trust all have shares in the lessor. The consortium of investor
bought Porterbrook in December 2008 from Abbey. In December 2009,
Deutsche Bank sold 10 percent of its shares to Antin. It now owns
40 percent of Porterbrook.

1pm reports losses

Small ticket leasing provider 1pm plc
has reported a £226,000 (€258,000) loss for the six months leading
to 30 November 2009, after a trading statement in October 2009
warned of new business shortfalls and increased write-offs.
1pm, which has a portfolio of £6.4 million, wrote just wrote
£900,000 of new business over the a six-month period, compared to
£2.9 million in the corresponding period of 2008.
According to the company’s latest financial statement: “Management
is now confident of a significantly stronger performance in the
second half.”

Prohire to target
bluechips

Commercial vehicle (CV) contract hire
specialist Prohire has said it will focus on targeting only blue
chip companies this year.
The Stoke-on-Trent-headquartered company won a number of agreements
in 2009 with the likes of energy company e.ON UK, gaming solutions
provider Global Draw and office2office, a managed services
business.
Prohire chairman David Barlow added the company is “committed to
expanding” despite the challenges in the CV market by developing
new business opportunities in the CV contract hire and fleet
management sectors.

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By GlobalData

Flexxilease to launch CV
arm

Giraffe Automotive Services (GAS), the
holding company of motor finance provider Flexxilease, is to launch
a business in the commercial vehicle sector this month, with an
unnamed joint venture partner in the van rental sector.
Flexxivan, trialed in the third quarter of 2009, is now writing
business after what GAS director Mel Goodliffe called a “learning
experience”. Goodliffe hopes the brand will even out GAS’
fleet/consumer business ratio, which currently stands at around
70:30 in favour of consumer transactions. Goodliffe, a former
programme director for a CIT vendor business, says he may consider
a similar venture in the plant sector in future.

Vantis reports £6.5m
losses

Business recovery specialist Vantis,
which also offers advisory services in asset finance, last month
reported a £6.5 million (€7.4 million) pre-tax loss for the year
leading to 30 April 2009, in an annual report originally scheduled
for August.
The AIM-listed company saw revenues fall 2.9 percent over the
period to reach £89.6 million, with total liabilities rising 27
percent to £81 million. Vantis chairman Paul Gourmand said the year
had been “one of mixed fortunes”.

UK lessors win spots on £100m
framework agreement

Arnold Clark Finance, LeasePlan and Lex
Autolease have won places on a £100 million (€114.7 million) car
lease framework agreement issued by the Common Services Agency,
based in Edinburgh.
The agreement covers “the leasing of an unlimited range of cars
[and] associated services in terms of servicing, maintenance,
roadside support and repair of the vehicles during the term of each
lease,” and may be used by all NHS Scotland Health Boards and
Special Boards, and by Aberdeenshire Council.

Arval signs Renault
van deal with Glen Dimplex

Electrical heating business Glen
Dimplex has ordered 50 Renault Trafic vans to add to its 150-unit
fleet. The vans have been financed through fleet management and
leasing company Arval. The vehicles will be based in Glen Dimplex’s
Liverpool site.

Fleet manager at the heating firm,
Andrew Winstone, commented: “We chose Renault for our fleet as we
were impressed with the Trafic van – it has space for the racking
that we fit to transport tools and equipment, and looks the part in
our bespoke silver metallic paint.”

Sainsbury’s takes on  Smith
Edison electric vans

Sainsbury’s has ordered 51 Smith Edison
electric vans to add to an existing 20-strong fleet of electric
vans. The vehicles will be used to make deliveries in the London
area. Neil Sachdev, Sainsbury’s commercial director, said: “We are
committed to using zero emission vehicles where possible. Also, the
electricity used to power them generates around 50 percent less CO2
than diesel vans.”

Smith Edison also won a rolling
one-year fleet management contract to maintain and service the new
3.5 tonne electric vans

Isuzu wins deal with
ALD

Associated London Distribution (ALD)
has ordered 8 new Isuzu 7.5 tonners for its fleet. The new trucks
are being supplied on a four-year contract hire deal through the MC
Group, a dealership based in Kent.

SFS wins wind farms
deal

The Smart Wind consortium, led by
Siemens Project Ventures and Mainstream Renewable Power, has won a
major contract from the Crown Estate to develop one of the nine
€111 billion offshore wind farms.

Siemens Project Ventures will help
develop 4GW of wind farms by 2020 in the ‘Hornsea’ zone, off of the
Yorkshire coast.

GE Capital mega rental
deal

GE Capital has agreed to provide a £15
million (€16.6 million) working capital facility for Scot Group, an
independent vehicle rental company.

The three-year revolving credit line
deal, will be used to fund anticipated growth at the Exeter-based
company, which owns the Thrifty Car & Van Rental and Dollar
Rent a Car UK franchise. The deal was introduced by Grant Thornton
in Bristol.

Lombard extends Fed
deal

Lombard Vehicle Management (LVM) has
extended a fleet deal with the Retail Motor Industry Federation,
the UK trade body, and its training arm Remit.

The lessor has an ongoing deal to
supply Remit with a fleet of 40 vehicles, and the new deal has been
extended to 20 further units. The vehicles are being run on a
contract hire over a three-year term.

Volvo in Hills Group
win

Hills Waste Solutions has ordered three
new Volvo FH tractor units on a five-year contract hire deal. The
Wiltshire-based waste management contractor, part of the Hills
Group Limited, said the FH-500 6×2 vehicles will replace three
Volvo FM12 6×4 tractors.

Bombardier’s Swedish
deal

Bombardier Transportation and AB
Transitio, a Swedish rolling stock company, have agreed on the
delivery of 11 three-car trains. The deal is valued at
approximately €96 million and includes an option for five more
trains, the Berlin-headquartered company said.

IDS names new vice-president of
sales

International Decision Systems (IDS)
has named Steve Pittman as vice-president of sales. Pittman has 15
years’ experience of enterprise software sales and an additional 10
years in consulting and application development.

In his previous roles, he worked as
director of sales for GXS, senior account executive with SAP
America, regional vice-president for PeopleSoft, and regional
manager at Oracle. In his new role, Pittman will report to the
company CEO, Todd Davis, and lead new business development,
strategic accounts and partners programmes for IDS.

WCG’s accounting  system
passes audit

White Clarke Group (WCG)’s accounting
system has successfully passed an audit checking its pan-European
compliance. The accounting system, which is a fully integrated part
of WCG’s CALMS eManager suite, was checked last month by a team of
auditors, accountancy and tax experts. The company said that a
number of test scenarios were carried out in ‘real life’
simulations, such as manual bookings, payment transactions,
outstanding item administration, dunning, reporting and balancing.
It said that all scenarios were fully compliant and the system has
been certified as having passed all regulatory requirements.

NetSol expects return to profit
in 2010

NetSol Technologies expects a return to
GAAP profitability for its fiscal year ending on June 30 2010,
compared with a GAAP net loss in 2009. The asset finance software
provider said it is seeing a rising demand for its software NetSol
Financial Suite, particularly in markets such as China and North
America. It expects a revenue growth between 25 percent and 32
percent to $33 million to $35 million (€23 million to €24.5
million).

NetSol CEO Najeeb Ghauri said: “Rising
sales, combined with our streamlined operating structure, are
creating excellent leverage which is reflected in our new
projections for GAAP net income.”