STAGECOACH, the transport group that runs the South West Trains franchise, said the recent storms and flooding that devastated the region’s railways will not make a dent in the firm’s overall results.
UK rail revenues were up 3.9 per cent in the forty weeks to 2 February, with the effects of the weather likely to be short-term and offset by good trading elsewhere, the firm said.
Stagecoach also shrugged off the wintery storms that battered North America this winter, reporting that its Megabus business increased its revenues by 20.3 per cent in the nine months to the end of January.
Overall profits for the year to the end of April are likely to be in line with forecasts, “which given the effects of the severe weather in both the UK and North America, reflects the strength in the underlying trading of the business”, Stagecoach said.
The company said it has set aside £5m to fund its bid through the Virgin Trains joint venture to run the East Coast Main Line. The Department for Transport is expected to pick the new operator for the route, which is currently run by a public sector body, in the second half of the year.
Stagecoach is also bidding to run the Docklands Light Railway and Thameslink.