4 Nov 2011

Stagecoach and National Express: revenues up

Strong growth abroad helped offset weaker demand for bus services in the UK at National Express and Stagecoach. National Express said revenues were up 7 per cent at Alsa Bus and Coach services, its Spanish bus operator, in the nine months to the end of September. Revenues in its North American school bus business rose 10 per cent in the period. National Express expanded in the US in September, paying $200m cash for Petermann Partners, an Ohio-based bus operator. But the robust performance in Spain and the US compared with more modest revenue growth of 2 per cent in the UK bus operations.

Stagecoach said it had seen 12 per cent revenue growth in North America in the five months to the end of September. The company’s fastest growing regional business is Megabus, a service based on the budget airline model. Megabus is thought to have profit margins of about 20 per cent in a market where it competes directly with domestic airlines offering shorthaul flights. Stagecoach reported growth of 2.2 per cent in the UK.

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