Stagecoach has scrapped its dividend for the full year after Covid lockdowns sparked a sharp fall in revenue and profit.
The Scottish transport group posted revenue of £928m in the year to May, down from £1.4bn in the previous 12 months.
Pre-tax profit dropped 40 per cent to £24.7m, though this was ahead of market expectations.
Stagecoach said it would not pay a dividend due to ongoing uncertainties linked to the pandemic.
The figures reflect the impact of lockdowns on Britain’s biggest bus and coach operator, in particular for its regional bus divisions.
This was offset in part by higher operating profit from its London bus business, which was boosted by contract wins.
Stagecoach said vehicle mileage for regional services was now restored to 94 per cent while commercial sales were at around 68 per cent of 2019 levels — up from a pandemic low of 12 per cent.
The company was bullish about its outlook despite continued uncertainty around the pandemic.
It added that the shift to more sustainable modes of transport would support its business in the longer term.
“We continue to make good progress in delivering our immediate priorities,” said chief executive Martin Griffiths.
“We are confident that there is a strong and positive future for public transport as we carefully follow the roadmap out of the Covid-19 pandemic. While it is difficult to reliably forecast the pace of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, we continue to see good long-term prospects for the business.”