Stagecoach calls for more buses to cut down pollution

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Chief executive Martin Griffiths revealed revenues from its London buses division rose 6.4% to £260.6 million, with operating profits up 10% to £26.3 million, despite the Government continuing to squeeze margins.

He said: “The bus is the answer to some of our congestion. We need to get more cars out of city centres and roads and show that there’s a better alternative.”

The news comes as it revealed total revenues for the year to the end of April increased 9.4% to £3.2 billion, with pre-tax profits up 4.6% to £165.2 million.

Griffiths admitted it had been a tough year due to the low fuel price pushing more potential passengers into their cars instead, particularly in North America, where petrol is less heavily taxed.

He said: “Our business strategy for 15 years is, how do you persuade people in motor cars onto buses and onto trains. We’ve always been good at that but clearly when fuel drops the way it has it makes that a lot harder.” It meant revenues in North America fell 0.8% to $680.1 million (£431.2 million) and operating profits sank 7.1% to $35.3 million.

The West Coast mainline, in which Stagecoach is a 49% partner with Virgin Trains, continues to be its most profitable operation, and bosses are hoping to emulate its success after recently winning the East Coast franchise.

A new set of trains are set to be delivered and Griffiths said £140 million would be spent over the next few years upgrading the service.

In Europe efforts have been focused on the expansion of the intercity Megabus service. This has come at a cost of £3 million.

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June 25, 2015 |
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