Stagecoach’s cautious outlook
Stagecoach has taken a cautious outlook, with a modest revision to full year expectation of adjusted earnings per share. Press reports have suggested that the terrorist attacks in Paris have slowed revenue growth since the company reported a rise to £1,970.4m (2014: £1545m) for the six months ended 31 October 2015. Recent revenue was reported to be ‘softer than expected’ in its UK Bus regional operations in its latest interim results. Revenue in this part of its business rose 0.7% to £530.8m (2014: £527.1m). In London, revenue rose 1.4% to £133.1m (2014: £131.3m). A lower rate of rail and inter-city coach revenue growth was reported since mid-November in the UK and Europe.
Chief Executive, Martin Griffiths, said, ‘We have continued to invest in making travel better and easier for our customers. Public transport is a shared responsibility between the public and private sectors. It is crucial that the investment of transport operators is matched by steps by the public sector to tackle the growing challenge of road congestion, which is holding back the potential of the bus. At the same time, shrinking public investment in local transport can impact on the cost of travel and the network of services. We look for efficiencies within our own businesses to protect our customers as far as we can from any impact of Government cuts.’
‘Our bus passengers in the UK are now benefitting from our new UK Bus website, which enables them to check live running times for their bus services and purchase travel on their smart phones. In 2016, we will also introduce a new mobile bus app. In addition, we are on track to complete delivery of smart multi-operator bus ticketing in England’s main city regions within the next few weeks. Overall, the Group is in good financial shape and we were pleased to have put new bond financing arrangements in place earlier this year. Challenges remain in our sector in the short-term but the underlying strength of our businesses across the UK, continental Europe and North America, means we are well placed to drive value for our customers and investors.’