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Group continues to invest

Stagecoach lifts dividend on good prospects

Martin GriffithsBus and train company Stagecoach said it would be raising its dividend as a reflection of its confidence in public transport.

In a half-year statement it said it had met its expectations of earnings per share for period.

Chief executive Martin Griffiths said: “We see positive long-term prospects for public transport and have increased the interim dividend by 8.6%. 

“We have a growth strategy built on continued investment, value-for-money travel and high customer satisfaction and we have made further significant investments to improve our bus and rail services for customers now and in the future.

“There is a large market opportunity for modal shift from cars to public transport against a backdrop of population growth, urbanisation, technological advancements, and increasing pressure to tackle road congestion and improve air quality.

“We remain confident that we can continue to deliver long-term value to our customers and shareholders.  The prospects for growth in public transport in the UK and North America remain good and we are continuing to invest to ensure that our businesses are a central part of that growth.”

Highlights:

·      Adjusted earnings per share 14.4p (H1 2016: 17p)

·      Interim dividend per share up 8.6% to 3.8p (H1 2016: 3.5p)

·      Profit before tax £89.5m (H1 2016: £90.8m)

·      Further investment in new vehicles and technology

       – net capital expenditure £125.5m (H1 2016: £83.9m)

·      Bid for new South Western rail franchise submitted, current franchise extended to August 2017

·      Expectation of 2016/17 adjusted earnings per share broadly unchanged



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