Arriva’s year of strong growth
Arriva has reported another year of strong growth in the 12 months to 31 December 2014. Group revenue rose 7.4% to €4,491m/£3,304m (2013: €4,180m/£3,075m) and EBITDA was €498m/£366.5m (2013: €467m/£343.7m), a 6.6% increase. During the period, Arriva UK Bus announced an investment programme worth over £45m to facilitate a major upgrade of its fleet, including the roll-out of more than 230 new carbon efficient vehicles. this brought the total investment in the UK fleet to over £500m since 2008. It now has electric buses operating in the Netherlands and the UK and gas buses in operation across six territories, including Italy, Denmark, the UK and the Czech Republic.
The operator’s fully integrated mobile app covering its UK Bus operations reached over 500,000 downloads. The app will see new functionality during 2015. Arriva will be part of a London-style smart ticketing initiative which will be launched across England’s largest cities in 2015. The initiative sees all major bus operators involved and represents a multi-million pound investment. Arriva London will operate TfL’s first fully electric bus route from September, marking the first order of electric vehicles to be solely funded by a London operator.
Chief Executive of Arriva, David Martin, said, ‘We have continued to invest all of our operating cash flow in growing our business over the past 12 months. That positive strategy is reflected in our continued strong revenue and EBITDA growth. Our success in the UK and across mainland Europe perfectly positions us to take advantage of transport markets as they advance and liberalise. That pace of change is increasing and we are determined to embrace pending EU legislation, including the progress of the fourth railway package, which has the potential to help us deliver further long-term growth and passenger benefits.’
‘In the UK our bus investment programme is delivering a greener fleet, and includes the introduction of 230 new hybrid buses alongside a growing fleet of electric and gas buses. We have seen significant growth across mainland Europe through a variety of contract wins – helping to strengthen our position in both the bus and rail markets – especially in the Northern and Eastern European territories. Innovating for our customers is also a significant, ongoing focus. We were pleased with the Department for Transport’s decision to allow CrossCountry to permanently retail our industry-leading advance purchase ticketing solution, while across the whole of Europe our approach to smart ticketing and smartphone technology is making our services more appealing and accessible.’