Upbeat outlook as Stagecoach grows revenue

STAGECOACH, one of the UK’s biggest bus and coach operators, said yesterday it was confident about the coming 12 months, despite a 1.5 per cent dip in pre-tax profits to £202.5m.

Revenues rose eight per cent to £2.6bn, helped by a strong financial performance at its London bus services.

But its East Midlands rail franchise suffered a first-half loss, and revenue was below the level forecast when the contract was awarded, the company said.

Since November 2011, East Midlands Trains has received state revenue support payments.

The group is predicting further positive growth for its budget coach brand Megabus in the next year, following the launch of its new European routes, and overall trading in line with expectations.

Chief executive Sir Brian Souter said: “As well as testing the market in Europe, we are expanding to new locations in North America where the response to the product from consumers has been particularly strong.”

During the Olympics and Paralympics the public transport group will be providing 300,000 additional seats by operating larger trains.

Stagecoach also has a contract with Locog to transport the athletes and members of the media around London during the Games.

“In London, our turnaround plan is progressing well and we have won new contracts on more acceptable profit margins,” said Souter.

Stagecoach also said its dividend would increase by 10 per cent to 5.4p.