29 Jun 2011

Stagecoach profits up 61 percent

The soaring price of petrol and greater road congestion have encouraged more North American motorists to opt for coach transport, boosting revenue and profit at Stagecoach.
The London-listed bus and rail operator, which provides budget coach transport in the US and Canada through its Megabus operations, said revenues from its bus operations in the region rose by 8 per cent in the year to the end of April, to $529.4m. 
Total group revenues rose from £2.2bn to £2.4bn, while pre-tax profit jumped 61 per cent to £209.7m.
The Perth-based company said travellers’ reluctance to use their cars had also benefited the group’s UK rail business, which includes the South West Trains franchise, where sales grew 4.2 per cent in the last financial year. At Virgin Rail, in which Stagecoach holds a 49 per cent stake, sales increased by 10.5 per cent over the year.
Stagecoach said like-for-like sales at its UK bus division rose 2.1 per cent to £896.3m during the year. With a 14 per cent share of the total UK bus market, Stagecoach operates about 7,000 buses in the country, covering roughly 100 towns and cities including Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Hull, and Sheffield.

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