Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Stagecoach Preliminary Results

Stagecoach Group plc - Preliminary results for the year ended 30 April 2015

  • Adjusted earnings per share+ in line with expectations, up 2.7% to 26.7 pence (2014: 26.0 pence)
  • Dividend per share up 10.5% to 10.5 pence (2014: 9.5 pence)
  • New Virgin Trains East Coast rail franchise to 2023
  • Bid submitted for TransPennine Express rail franchise
  • Joint venture shortlisted to bid for East Anglia rail franchise
  • Continued organic growth in UK Bus
  • Significant investment in new vehicles, digital technology and customer service across bus and rail
  • Growing network of inter-city coach services in Europe and North America

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

“These are a solid set of results notwithstanding continued tight central and local government spending, and increased competition for public transport from the private car driven by lower fuel prices.

"We have a strong set of bus and rail businesses in the UK, mainland Europe and North America. Our successful strategy is focused on providing a good value, high quality travel experience for our customers, and investing for growth over the medium to long-term.

"Our commercial bus services in the UK have been independently recognised by passengers as offering the best value travel in our sector. We are seeking to attract more passengers by investing over a further £80m in new greener buses, many equipped with free wi-fi, for our regional bus operations in 2015/16. 

Along with other major UK bus operators, we are well advanced in delivering on our pledge to introduce smart multi-operator ticketing in key English city regions by the end of 2015.
"The key to securing the future of Britain's buses is for operators, government and local authorities to work together to deliver properly planned and sustainable bus networks.

"We have achieved further growth in our branded coach services in the UK, mainland Europe and North America. In recent months, we have launched new domestic networks in Germany and Italy and new services within France. Our passenger volumes in mainland Europe have increased by more than 60% in the past year. Looking ahead, we see further opportunities in Europe to increase our share of a growing market as countries take steps to liberalise inter-city coach services.

“The prospects in the UK rail sector are encouraging, with a franchise model focused on a combination of taxpayer value, quality service for customers and an appropriate balance of reward and risk for operators. We are pleased to have started the new Virgin Trains East Coast franchise and look forward to delivering a brand new fleet of technologically advanced Hitachi trains and £140m of improvements during the franchise to transform the experience for customers. The Virgin Trains West Coast franchise is performing well, we have submitted an exciting bid for the TransPennine Express franchise and our joint venture with Abellio has been shortlisted for the East Anglia franchise.

“The Group is in good financial shape and overall we have delivered on our expectations for the year. We have made a satisfactory start to the 2015/16 financial year and look forward to building further on the Group’s achievements.”

As a boost to the impressive figures announced today the company has also revealed that during the past week more than 30,000 customers have purchased tickets for the new network of routes in Italy  – higher than the initial sales on any of the company’s other networks in Europe.
From today services will link 13 destinations across Italy and passengers have been snapping up bargain fares from just €1.

The major new network of inter-city coach services covers Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, Naples, Turin, Bologna, Verona, Padua, Siena, Genoa, Sarzana (La Spezia) and Pisa. The most popular route in Italy so far is the one that runs between  Naples – Rome – Florence – Bologna – Milan - Turin.
As well as boosting public transport, tourism and the economy, is investing in Italy by creating around 100 new jobs through the opening of new bases near Milan and in Florence. Managing Director Edward Hodgson said: "We have sold more tickets over the past week in Italy than we have during the first week of any of our networks in Europe. This demonstrates that Italy is ready for and people are excited about having a new low-fares transport option which is unlike anything they have had in the past.