Perth-based transport giant Stagecoach, now owned by German asset manager DWS, said its revenue rose almost 16% to £669.6 million and adjusted profit before taxation rose 98% to £36.4 million in the half-year ended October 29, 2022.
“Growth in adjusted profit reflecting recovery in passenger volumes and payments from national governments to protect public transport services for customers …” said Stagecoach.
The company reported a “substantial strengthening” of its pensions position, with net pre-deferred tax pensions assets of £167.4 million, a £197.2m improvement in the half-year
Stagecoach reported growth in passenger demand in its UK regional bus division, with recent passenger journeys at around 80% of equivalent 2019 levels.
It said free bus travel for under-22s is supporting strong growth in bus travel by young people in Scotland.
The group reported expansion in contracted London bus operations, with the acquisition of two businesses with more than 300 buses and 28 routes contracted with Transport for London, “providing good strategic fit with existing depot footprint.”
Stagecoach said it has a “positive long-term outlook, leveraging the benefits of new ownership and supportive government policy and funding.”
Stagecoach is the UK’s biggest bus and coach operator, employing 23,000 people.
Stagecoach Group CEO Martin Griffiths said: “We are pleased to report a positive set of results for the half-year ended 29 October 2022 as we move forward under new ownership.
“We have delivered increased revenue and profit, reflecting growth in our business and investment by the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments in bus networks.
“We have made further progress as we rebuild from the pandemic, manage the immediate-term macro-economic headwinds, and position our business to maximise the opportunities for growth as we transition to a net zero future.
“At the same time, the current economic environment is helping to demonstrate the good value of our public transport services and encourage modal shift away from the car.
“We remain positive on the long-term outlook for the group, while mindful of the macro-economic challenges facing businesses across the country.
“Underpinned by a strong financial position and with strong relationships with our national and local government partners, we are well-positioned for future growth for the benefit of our customers, employees, investors and wider stakeholders.”