Stagecoach posts 39% profit rise
UK transport group Stagecoach delivered a 39 per cent rise in half-year profits after seeing more strong growth in its regional bus division.
The company, which is one of the UK's biggest bus and coach operators with around 8,000 vehicles and 2.5 million passengers every day, said overall profits jumped to £123.7 million (€152.3 million) in the six months to October 31.
It said commercial bus services were the "cornerstone" of its business, with a 1.3 per cent rise in underlying passenger volumes contributing to a 4.1 per cent increase in revenues to £468.9 million and profits of £87.2 million, up 9 per cent.
The company said: "Our bus operations in the UK have proved robust and continued to perform well during weak macroeconomic conditions."
Its rail division, which includes South West Trains, rebounded from a £6.9 million loss a year earlier to report a profit of £22.7 million.
This reflected the start of revenue support payments from the Department for Transport on the company's East Midlands franchise.
Stagecoach is engaging with the Government on its review of the rail franchising system, a process which is being held after the fiasco over the West Coast mainline.
The bidding process for the new franchise is to be re-run after the Government discovered significant technical flaws in the procurement process, scrapping the award of the franchise to FirstGroup and keeping Stagecoach's Virgin Rail joint venture on a temporary contract.