Wednesday 11 December 2013

Stagecoach Group plc - Interim results for the six months ended 31 October 2013


Adjusted earnings per share* up 2.8% to 14.6 pence (2012 as restated: 14.2 pence)

Interim dividend per share up 11.5% to 2.9 pence (2012: 2.6 pence)

Net debt down £43.4m to £494.6m


UK Bus
o Revenue growth in regional bus operations built on successful partnership model, investment and low fares
o New contract wins in London driven by good cost control and operational performance
o Expansion of inter-city bus services in UK and Europe
     UK Rail 
o Good financial and operational performance at East Midlands and South Western rail franchises
o Working with Government to expand rail capacity into London
o South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance delivering improved railway
     North America 
o Significant increase in revenue and operating profit driven by inter-city services
o Investing in further expansion
Growth opportunities ahead in UK and North America

·      Modal shift from car to bus in UK supported by innovation, investment and low fares
·      Expansion of in North America and further development of megabusGold premium products
·      Discussions with Department for Transport on planned extensions to existing South Western, East Midlands and Virgin West Coast rail franchises
·      Pipeline of new rail opportunities in UK

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive, Martin Griffiths, said: 

"Our bus and rail services in the UK and North America are performing well and there are a number of exciting opportunities for growth ahead. We have invested in new products and further improvements to our services for customers. Our success is delivering value for our shareholders and we are also making a strong contribution to local communities and the economy.

"In the UK, our sector-leading regional bus services have gone from strength to strength, despite lower public spending and austerity measures. We have the lowest fares and highest customer satisfaction of any major bus operator, which is helping get Britain back on board the bus. Smart ticketing and other developments in new technology are helping make our services more convenient and offer further potential to encourage people to switch from the car to public transport.

"We are positive about the outlook for the rail sector in the UK where the franchising programme is again moving. There is a pipeline of new opportunities in addition to the planned extensions to the duration of the rail franchises operated by our existing high quality train companies. Our experience of alliancing with Network Rail over the past 18 months has given us an invaluable insight and understanding that can be used to ensure new franchise bids can deliver better value for money for Government. We are also working closely with Government to deliver vital new rail capacity for our customers.

 "Our megabus branded services in the UK, mainland Europe and North America have an exciting future ahead. We see significant potential to expand our presence in the US, where we already operate in 40 states. We are also considering opportunities to roll-out our premium day and overnight services to new locations.

"Our people on the frontline and behind the scenes have been central to delivering consistently strong operational performance which produces the good financial results. In dealing with the operational and customer service challenges of the recent severe storms in the UK, our people showed their dedication and professionalism in tough conditions and I am proud of our team across the business.

 "The Group is in excellent financial shape and we are well placed to capitalise on opportunities to add value for our investors.  Private sector expertise and partnership working with the public sector has transformed bus and rail travel over the past two decades and we firmly believe that model has more to deliver." 


Martin Arrand has now added further images to the recent visit by the Focus Transport team to Manchester. These can be viewed here