Although the severe winter weather in December brought public transport to a standstill in many areas of the UK, Stagecoach said its performance remained good and the financial year’s first 40 weeks had proved profitable. The company’s bus division in the UK, which has networks in cities including Manchester, Hull, Newcastle and Liverpool, saw revenues rise by 1.9 per cent to 6 February compared to the same period a year before.
Revenues in December were up by 2.3 per cent compared to the same month a year earlier. In North America, where Stagecoach also provides transport services, revenues were up by 8.2 per cent compared to the year before for the nine months ending 31 January. This is compared to the 7.5 per cent growth recorded in the six months to 31 October.
UK rail, the operator of East Midlands Trains and South West Trains also managed to produce a growth in revenue by 6.9 per cent in the first 40 weeks. This is compared to 6.4 per cent growth for the same period a year earlier.
Stagecoach has issued a statement saying that even though there were problems related to the cold snap in December, the firm’s profitability remains good.
Stockbroker Panmure Gordon is confident about the company’s immediate future and has kept a buy recommendation on the stock. In December, Stagecoach announced that although it had increased fares the number of passengers carried was also up. It is likely that the soaring price of oil will force the company to increase ticket prices further.