Stagecoach Group has released its preliminary results for the year ending 30 April 2015. At group level, revenue was at £3204.4m (2014: £2,930m). Its total operating profit was £217.9m (2014: £200.9m) and profit before taxation was £165.2m (2014: £158m).
Stagecoach’s regional bus operations achieved revenue in the period of £1,045.5m (2014: £1,012.8m), a 3.2% rise, whilst operating profit was £141.1m (2014: £147.4m), down 4.3%. The slight decline in the Division’s operating profit includes the effects of its expanding megabus.com inter-city coach services in continental Europe. The profit for the year is also after taking account of a significant reduction in the operating profit of its Manchester bus business (principally as a result of increased competition), as well as the ongoing legal and other costs related to the proposals to implement a bus contracting system in Tyne and Wear.
Revenue in Stagecoach’s UK Bus London operations rose 6.4% to £260.6m (2014: £244.9m), which is higher than its recent expectations. Its operating profit was £26.3m (2014: £23.9m), an increase of 10%. The outlook for these operations is positive, with continuing good profitability expected from its portfolio of contracts with TfL. It continues to expect some decline in operating margin following the particularly strong margins of the last few years but still aims to deliver long term operating margins in excess of 7%.
Chief Executive, Martin Griffiths, said, ‘These are a solid set of results notwithstanding continued tight central and local government spending, and increased competition for public transport from the private car driven by lower fuel prices. Our commercial bus services in the UK have been independently recognised by passengers as offering the best value travel in our sector. We are seeking to attract more passengers by investing over a further £80m in new greener buses, many equipped with free Wi-Fi, for our regional bus operations in 2015/16. Along with other major UK bus operators, we are well advanced in delivering on our pledge to introduce smart multi-operator ticketing in key English city regions by the end of 2015. The key to securing the future of Britain’s buses is for operators, government and local authorities to work together to deliver properly planned and sustainable bus networks. The Group is in good financial shape and overall we have delivered on our expectations for the year.’