StockMarketWire.com - Stagecoach reported further strong trading and positive progress in the UK rail division, resulting in an increase in forecasts for adjusted earnings per share in a trading update for its financial year ending 27 April 2019.

Like-for-like revenue growth for the financial year to date in each of the Group's main businesses is:

UK Bus (regional operations) - forty four weeks ended 2 March 2019: 3.4%

UK Bus (London) - Forty four weeks ended 2 March 2019: 1.3%

North America - Ten months ended 28 February 2019: (1.4)%

UK Rail (excluding Virgin Trains East Coast) - Forty four weeks ended 2 March 2019: 1.4%

Virgin Rail - Forty four weeks ended 2 March 2019: 6.7%

UK BUS (REGIONAL OPERATIONS)

Revenue growth is similar to that reported in the first half of the year, with tender revenue continuing to grow as we increase our market share in that area of business.

Like-for-like vehicle miles operated were 0.5% lower than in the previous year. Like-for-like revenue per vehicle mile grew 4.0% and like-for-like revenue per journey also increased 3.6%.

UK BUS (LONDON)

We have undertaken a detailed review to identify opportunities to improve our performance on tenders for Transport for London contracts.

The bidding environment remains highly competitive and this will continue to exert pressure on the profitability of our UK Bus (London) division.

However, our priority remains securing contracts at a sustainable level where the financial returns reflect the capital invested.

NORTH AMERICA

The like-for-like revenue decline of 1.4% for the division includes 1.9% decline for megabus.com North America.

Trading at the other businesses in North America remains in line with our expectations.

As previously reported, we expect the disposal of the North America division to complete before the financial year end.

UK RAIL AND VIRGIN RAIL

The financial performance of our rail businesses is ahead of our expectations, with continued good underlying revenue trends.

We continued to make progress in achieving favourable outcomes from concluding industry charges and contractual matters associated with the expired South West Trains franchise, resulting in additional profit being recognised in the current financial year.

PRELIMINARY RESULTS

The next planned update is the announcement of the group's preliminary results on Wednesday 26 June 2019.




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