The group, which operates fleets in the UK and Spain, has opened a second office at its County Durham base as part of the shake-up of the business, which is now almost complete.
Chief executive Bob Contreras said: “We have centralised administration and finance and opened a second office in Darlington.
“We have employed an extra 200 people in the North East this calendar year. It is a vote of confidence in the North East for us.” The Darlington-based group saw its share price leap by 16% to 207p yesterday after posting a jump in its bottom line to £46m from £26.5m a year ago despite seeing a 1.2% fall in revenues to £706.7m. Net debt fell by £158.6m to £371.3m and Northgate announced a full-year dividend of 3p per share.
Contreras said: “Most of the turnover reduction was in Spain, where there was a 10% reduction in the fleet. It recognises the fact we’re dominated not by top-line turnover but by profitability.
“Essentially we had a period of three or four years where debt reduced substantially. It’s a sign of confidence in the business going forward.
“In the four years since I’ve been here, debt has reduced by more than £500m.”