Stagecoach sees growth in UK rail operations

Stagecoach has recorded increased profits in the last six months, citing good revenue growth in its UK rail division.

The company has seen revenue increase by almost nine per cent to £1.4 billion and profits rise to £116 million – up from £90 million in 2011.

Chief executive Sir Brian Souter said Stagecoach, which holds a 49 per cent share in Virgin Trains, was also looking forward to soon reaching a deal with the Department for Transport (DfT) over a short-term contract to operate on the West Coast Main Line.

Competitors FirstGroup had been awarded the franchise earlier in the year, but the competition was cancelled after the DfT discovered ‘significant flaws’ in the process.

Souter, who is stepping down as chief executive next year, said: “Our success is built on strong partnerships across our bus and rail networks.

“We are delivering a better service for passengers, growing our business sustainably and helping support local communities and the economy.

“Passenger revenue growth remains good on our UK rail networks and we have further developed the alliance with Network Rail at South West Trains.

“We are playing an active part in the UK Government’s review into rail franchising. The private sector has been central to the huge growth of UK rail travel over the past 15 years and it is important that a sustainable rail franchising programme is restarted as quickly as possible.

“Virgin Rail Group has introduced more than 100 new Pendolino train carriages in recent months, boosting capacity on the West Coast Main Line.

“We look forward to it shortly reaching an agreement with the UK Department for Transport for the continued operation of West Coast train services.”


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