Stagecoach ‘gone from strength to strength’
In the six months ending 31 October 2013, Stagecoach Group’s revenue rose to £1,473.9m (2012: £1,403.3m). During the period, the operating profit amounted to £126.5m (2012: £125.1m). In its UK Bus (regional operations), revenue increased 3.3% to £504.3m (2012: £488.3m) and operating profit was at £76.9m (2012: £76.8m) a 0.1% rise. The like-for-like revenue growth of 4.6% to £491m (2012: £469.5m) is below the rate of 5% the company previously reported for the 24 weeks ended 31 October 2013. This, it claims, is principally due to £1.8m of revenue recognised in the period 15 to 31 October 2012 in relation to the resolution of a claim for concessionary revenue. Like-for-like passenger volume growth for the six months was 1%. Its megabus.com inter-city coach services continue to grow in the UK and in mainland Europe.
In London, Stagecoach’s bus operations earned revenue of £115.4m (2012: £116.4m), a 0.9% decrease. Its operating profit was up 15.7% to £9.6m (2012: £8.3m). The operating profit margin achieved by this division exceeds the margin it aspired to when it acquired the business in 2010.
Chief Executive, Martin Griffiths, said, ‘In the UK, our sector leading regional bus services have gone from strength to strength, despite lower public spending and austerity measures. We have the lowest fares and highest customer satisfaction of any major bus operator, which is helping get Britain back on board the bus. Smart ticketing and other developments in new technology are helping make our services more convenient and offer further potential to encourage people to switch from the car to public transport. Our megabus branded services in the UK, mainland Europe and North America have an exciting future ahead. We see significant potential to expand our presence in the US, where we already operate in 40 states. We are also considering opportunities to roll-out our premium day and overnight services to new locations.’
‘Our people on the frontline and behind the scenes have been central to delivering consistently strong operational performance which produces the good financial results. In dealing with the operational and customer service challenges of the recent severe storms in the UK, our people showed their dedication and professionalism in tough conditions and I am proud of our team across the business. The Group is in excellent financial shape and we are well placed to capitalise on opportunities to add value for our investors. Private sector expertise and partnership working with the public sector has transformed bus and rail travel over the past two decades and we firmly believe that model has more to deliver.’