Stagecoach sees opportunities ahead after growth in US arm

City A.M. Reporter
TRANSPORT operator Stagecoach said yesterday it saw opportunities to expand its rail and bus portfolio after posting a two per cent rise in first-half pretax profit, driven by growth in its US bus business.

The bus and rail operator reported a pretax profit of £98.5m for the six months to the end of October, broadly in line with analysts’ forecasts.

Revenue was five per cent higher at £1.5bn and net debt was down by £43.4m to £494.6m, the Scotland-based company said.

Operating profit at its North American division, which includes yellow school bus services and its Megabus business, rose by 40 per cent to $30.6m. But profit slipped by three per cent at its UK rail division, including an 80 per cent drop in operating profit at its Virgin Rail Group joint venture.