Saturday 19 January 2019

Snowy weather puts Stagecoach’s bus revenues under pressure

Like-for-like revenue growth dropped 2.5% for the latest four-week period after the snow.

A Stagecoach bus departs Edinburgh bus station (David Cheskin/PA)
A Stagecoach bus departs Edinburgh bus station (David Cheskin/PA)

By Ben Woods, Press Association Chief City Correspondent

Stagecoach has suffered a sales blow to its UK bus operations after the nation was battered by bad weather conditions from the ‘Beast from the East’.

The group said like-for-like revenue growth at the regional bus arm fell 2.5% for the latest four-week period following the snow disruption in February and March.

It also caused regional bus sales to struggle for the 44 weeks to March 3, falling 0.1%.

Despite the hit, Stagecoach said it was on track for annual earnings targets, with revenues at UK rail and Virgin Rail growing 3.2% and 2.8% respectively for the 44-week period.

Stagecoach, which has come under fire for its handling of the East Coast Mainline, said it submitted a bid for the South Eastern franchise and was still locked in talks with the Department of Transport over new contract terms for the Virgin Trains East Coast business.

It said bids for the East Midlands and West Coast Partnership franchises were progressing.

The group’s London bus operation saw revenues slide 4.3% for the 44 weeks in response to lost contracts last year.

Its US business also stuttered, with heavy snow and mileages changes at causing revenues to fall 0.6% over the same period.

Shares in the firm have fallen 22% since the start of the year and fell a further 0.5% in morning trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Liberum analyst Gerald Khoo said there were “tentative signs of stabilisation” at the company.

Press Association

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