Stagecoach plans for impact of home workers
Buses are less reliant on commuters
Bus operator Stagecoach said it is planning for a future where there is a mix of home and office working and a more diverse use of transport for individual journeys.
After announcing a sharp fall in profits and revenue, the company said it remains difficult to predict the level of profit for the current year.
“We expect a reconfiguration of demand within local transport networks,” it said in a statement.
“Prior to COVID-19, around 23% of bus journeys outside of London made by residents of England were for commuting and business.”
However, it said buses are less reliant on commuters and business travel than some other modes of travel.
“We see an overall net positive opportunity as government policy, changing consumer attitudes, health drivers and climate change targets necessitate less use of cars and more use of sustainable public transport and active travel.”
It added: “It remains difficult to reliably predict the speed and extent of the recovery in the short-term, including the level of profit for the new financial year ending 30 April 2022.
“Nevertheless, we remain positive on the long-term outlook. The actions we have taken and the continuing support of government should ensure we continue to generate positive EBITDA and operating profit for the time being. We will look to re-build profitability closer to pre-COVID levels as the COVID-19 restrictions are eased.”
The company said it will not be paying a dividend after revenue for the year ended 1 May fell to £928.2m (2020: £1.4 billion). Adjusted total operating profit came in at £48.1m (2020: £119.7m).