Wednesday 25 April 2018

Stagecoach bus sales hit by ‘Beast from the East’

Stagecoach has come under fire for its handling of the East Coast Mainline.

Despite the hit, Stagecoach said it was on track for annual earnings targets (PA)
Despite the hit, Stagecoach said it was on track for annual earnings targets (PA)

By Ben Woods, Press Association Chief City Correspondent

Stagecoach has suffered a sales blow to its UK bus operations after Britain was engulfed by torrid 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 had 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 megabus.com 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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