Stagecoach bus revenue declines as rail revenue improves

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Stagecoach has provided a trading update ahead of its full year results to April 28, 2018. The announcement, covering the 44 weeks ended March 3, 2018, showed revenue decline across bus operations and growth from rail.

Regional UK bus operations were almost constant, with a 0.1% decline in revenue. However, London saw a 4.3% decline and North American operations saw a 0.6% decline in the 10 months ended February 28, 2018.

UK Rail, excluding South West Trains, saw 3.2% revenue growth, while Virgin Rail Group saw a 2.8% increase.

Stagecoach said trading in regional UK bus operations continues to reflect actions taken in early 2017 to adjust pricing and services to respond to changes in customer demand. Vehicle miles operated for the year to date were 2.9% lower than in the equivalent period last year, resulting in revenue per vehicle mile increasing by 2.9%. Journeys per vehicle mile grew by 0.2% and revenue per journey increased by 2.7%.

The company also noted that the reported like-for-like revenue growth has been suppressed in recent weeks by widespread snowstorms throughout the UK. During the most recent four-week period, like-for-like revenue declined by 2.5% from the equivalent prior year period. Excluding the most recent four-week period, like-for-like revenue growth for the 40 weeks ended February 3, 2018 was 0.1%.

The reported revenue decrease for the UK Bus (London) division reflects the impact of contracts lost in the prior year. Stagecoach said it remained satisfied by its performance on current year tenders for Transport for London contracts.