Stagecoach profits up amid growing rail and bus operations


Rail and bus operator Stagecoach has announced a rise of around seven per cent in annual pre-tax profits as a result of the company's growing transport operations in the UK and North America.

Announcing preliminary annual results, Stagecoach said that its pretax earnings excluding amortisation and exceptional items were £140.6 million for the year to April 30th, compared to £131.2 million a year ago.

The company said that despite rising fuel costs, it had enjoyed a "successful year" and would seek further "organic growth and bolt-on acquisition opportunities" to expand its UK and North American bus business.

Stagecoach chief executive Brian Souter said that the agreed sale of the company's London bus business, which is being acquired by Australia's Macqaurie Bank for £263.6 million, would allow the transport operator to focus on the growth of its bus services outside the capital.

The company is also hoping to expand its rail operations and claims that it is well placed to submit a "strong bid" for the new South Western rail franchise.

Welcoming Stagecoach's performance, Mr Souter said in a statement: "The group has achieved another strong set of results, delivering continued organic growth in our bus and rail operations in the UK and North America."

"Despite continued cost pressures, this has been a very successful year for the business," he added.

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