Perth-based transport giant Stagecoach, currently owned by Deutsche Bank-controlled investment firm DWS, said on Wednesday its revenue rose about 15% to £773.2 million in the half-year to October 28, 2023, while statutory profit before taxation soared 93% to £47.6 million.
Stagecoach is the UK’s biggest bus and coach operator and employs over 23,000 staff across 18 operating companies.
The group said its net debt increased by £60.4 million from £241.1 million at April 29, 2023, to £301.5 million at October 28, 2023, “reflecting net capital expenditure of £62.3m in the period, supporting the transition of our bus fleet to zero emission vehicles.”
DWS — a standalone unit of Deutsche Bank — won control of Stagecoach last year as its £595 million cash takeover bid trumped rival bidder National Express.
Stagecoach recently announced Claire Miles as its new chief executive officer (CEO).
Miles succeeded Martin Griffiths, who retired as CEO earlier in 2023.
Miles joined Stagecoach after holding a number of senior roles across a range of business sectors, including CEO of Yell and various managing director roles at Centrica.
In its outlook on Wednesday , Stagecoach said: “We remain positive on the long-term outlook for the group …
“Public transport delivers the sustainable connectivity people need to access work, education, healthcare, shopping, leisure, and meeting family and friends.
“As we transition towards a post-pandemic world, we are focused on further rebuilding profitability and adapting our services to meet new and emerging travel patterns.
“Whilst the next General Election may lead to some change in the detail of transport policy, there is broad cross-party support for the role that buses play in delivering government objectives on social equity and inclusion, economic development and levelling-up, and in transport decarbonisation.
“We have worked closely with local and national government in maintaining bus services through the pandemic and into recovery.
“We anticipate that this close partnership will be a continuing feature of transport policy, including through an expansion of bus service franchising, and we are engaging closely with national and local policy-makers to maximise the opportunities that this will offer.
“While there remains some uncertainty around the wider economic environment, there is no change to our expected outlook for the year ending 27 April 2024.”