- Adjusted earnings per share* up 5.7% to 26.0 pence (2013 restated: 24.6 pence)
- Full year dividend per share up 10.5% to 9.5 pence (2013: 8.6 pence)
- Net debt+ down £76.4m to £461.6m (2013: £538.0m)
- Current trading in line with management expectations
- Market-leading financial performance and customer satisfaction
- Orders for over £110m of new greener buses for 2014/15
- New contract wins in London driven by good cost control and operational performance
- New West Coast Trains franchise agreed
- Extension of South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance
- £9m invested in pursuing new rail franchise opportunities
- Over 80% increase in operating profit
- megabus.com inter-city services driving growth in revenue and operating profit
- Progress in resolving legal cases at Twin America sightseeing joint venture
Growth opportunities ahead
- Focus on customer service improvements to support modal shift
- Development of megabus.com product and footprint
- Planned extensions or direct awards of South West and East Midlands rail franchises
- Shortlisted for InterCity East Coast rail franchise in partnership with Virgin, with pipeline of other new rail opportunities in UK
Commenting on the results, Chief Executive, Martin Griffiths, said:“We have met our expectations for the year. Across the Group, we have a strong set of locally-managed businesses which are improving services for our customers, supporting the economy and communities, and adding value for our investors.
“For many years, we have built a sustainable business and attracted more people to greener public transport through a successful combination of low fares, continued investment, innovation, financial discipline and high customer satisfaction. By working together, we believe the public and private sector can best provide high quality bus and rail travel.
“In the UK, we have placed record orders for new vehicles at our regional bus networks in 2014/15, which is a sign of our confidence in continuing to get people out of their cars and back on board the bus. We have the lowest fares of any national bus operator and the highest customer satisfaction. In London, we are winning and retaining contracts on the right terms and our customers are benefitting from improved operational performance.
“Stagecoach is one of the UK’s premier rail operators and we see new franchising opportunities ahead. While we were disappointed not to secure the new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern rail franchise, we are very pleased that Virgin Rail Group has agreed a new West Coast rail franchise and that we have extended our innovative alliance with Network Rail at South West Trains. Positive discussions are continuing with the Department for Transport with a view to agreeing franchise extensions or direct awards at South West Trains and East Midlands Trains. Our objective is to achieve agreements which will collectively benefit customers, taxpayers and our shareholders.
“Our growing megabus.com business is continuing to expand and is leading a resurgence in good value, high quality inter-city travel options for people in the UK, mainland Europe and North America. In North America, in particular, we have significantly extended our footprint with new hubs, including in Florida. We believe there is a huge opportunity to encourage motorists to switch from the car, and our expansion plans are well on track. Our other wholly-owned operations in North America are performing satisfactorily and we are also pleased to have made progress in resolving the way forward for our Twin America sightseeing joint venture.
“The fantastic response of our professional and committed people to the prolonged extreme winter weather in parts of the UK and North America illustrates how central they are to our success. The Group itself has a strong financial foundation. I am confident we have new ideas and new opportunities ahead to deliver further sustainable growth in our business.”
Copies of this announcement are available on the Stagecoach Group website at http://www.stagecoach.com/investors/financial-analysis/reports/2014.aspx