Stagecoach reports bus growth in regions but challenges in London

In its latest trading update, Stagecoach Group reports that it is managing to squeeze additional returns from its UK regional bus business, but advises that its London operations continue to face challenging competition in the tendered market.

Stagecoach says that revenue growth for its regional bus operations was 3.4 per cent  for the 44 weeks ending 2 March 2019, and it adds that it is winning an increasing share of the tendered market in the regions. Like-for-like vehicle miles were 0.5 per cent lower than in the previous year, and like-for-like revenue per vehicle mile grew 4.0 per cent with revenue per journey up 3.6 per cent.

In London, Stagecoach says it has undertaken a detailed review to identify opportunities to improve its performance on tenders for Transport for London contracts. “The bidding environment remains highly competitive and this will continue to exert pressure on the profitability of our UK Bus (London) Division,” says the group’s statement. “However, our priority remains securing contracts at a sustainable level where the financial returns reflect the capital invested.”

The group has also confirmed that it plans to reduce the number of times it reports revenue data, from four to two per year. “We feel that the provision of such data four times a year puts too much focus on short-term factors, and distracts from an assessment of the longer term prospects of the group.”

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