- Bus and train group Stagecoach said it would propose no further dividends for its current financial year amid a sharp drop off in demand for transport services due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a trading update for the year through 2 May, Stagecoach said commercial sales at its local regional bus operating companies were now at around 15% of normal levels.

Vehicle mileage at those companies was at around 50% of normal levels with plans to reduce that closer to 40% over the next week.

A significant portion of staff had been furloughed at that business, as part of plans by Stagecoach to furlough around 55% of its bus drivers and engineering staff.

The company said it had around £506m of available cash and undrawn, committed bank facilities.

Planned capital expenditure had been cut to around £40m of cash capital expenditure and around £20m of new leases.

'We are continuing to work hard to ensure Stagecoach comes through this difficult period well placed for the significant long-term opportunities that we still see for public transport,' chief executive Martin Griffiths said.

'We would like to thank the respective governments and our local authority partners for their support through this very challenging period.'

'It is welcome recognition of the importance of maintaining bus services at this time, and it will enable key workers to continue to travel to and from work, as well as ensuring communities can still access food, medical care and other essential services.'

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