Stagecoach Group (LON:SGC) has today announced its interim results for the half-year ended 26 October 2019.
· Solid financial results reflecting business initiatives and the reduction in the scale of the Group over the last eighteen months
· Adjusted earnings per share4 10.0 pence (H1 2019: 12.9 pence)
· Statutory earnings per share 9.8 pence (H1 2019: loss per share 5.5 pence)
· London Bus profit ahead of our start-of-year expectations and regional bus revenue growth rate recovering
· Net debt £392.6m (27 April 2019 adjusted to include £89.0m lease debt arising on IFRS 16 adoption: £342.3m) includes effect of share buy-backs
· Interim dividend maintained at 3.8 pence per share
· No change to our expectation of 2019/20 earnings per share
Strategic and operational highlights
· Board changes separately announced today
o Ray O’Toole to succeed Sir Brian Souter as Chairman from 1 January 2020
o Sir Brian Souter to become a non-executive director from 1 January 2020
o Dame Ann Gloag and Sir Ewan Brown stepping down as non-executive directors on 31 December 2019
· Simpler and more focused business
· Updated strategy
o Maximise our core business’ potential in a changing market
- Driving growth in the UK
- Progressing commercial priorities around new bus and coach services in growth markets, multi-journey fares capping, corporate sales and re-branding
o Manage change through our people and technology to make it simpler and better
- Investing in improving customers’ experience, back office systems and processes, and cleaner vehicles
o Grow by diversifying to balance the portfolio and open up new markets
- Target markets and specific bidding opportunities already identified based on clear criteria
- Consistent with those criteria, shortlisted bidder for operation of Roslagsbanan rail system in Stockholm County, Sweden
· Significant potential for growth
o Public transport key to addressing environmental challenges and growing urban populations
o UK Government pro-bus policy and funding commitments
1 The “adjusted” results are the results for the relevant period excluding separately disclosed items as detailed in note 6 to the condensed financial statements.
2 The results shown for the half-year ended 27 October 2018 have been restated from those previously reported to: (i) remove the results of the discontinued North America operations where appropriate and (ii) restate revenue and other operating income for amendments made to the implementation of IFRS 15 for the year ended 27 April 2019 (see note 1 for details).
3 Continuing operations include all operations other than the North America business that was sold in April 2019.
4 Adjusted measures of profit exclude separately disclosed items as detailed in note 6 to the condensed financial statements.
Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, said:
“We are pleased to have delivered a solid set of financial results and further improvements for our customers over the first half of the financial year.
“Our updated strategy is based on three key objectives: maximise our core business potential, manage change through our people and technology, and grow by diversifying. We have designed the strategy to deliver a sustainable business, diversify our exposure to risk and create value for all of our investors, customers, employees, communities and the environment. Our strategy will continue to be underpinned by a clear focus on safety and customer service.
“Investment is underway to up-skill our teams, improve our back-office systems and make our business more agile. We are also at the forefront of industry-leading innovation in greener vehicles, autonomous technology, contactless travel, and app-based ticketing and information.
“We welcome recent Government pro-bus policy and funding commitments. Combined with our own initiatives and our support for the wider UK bus industry strategy, we are well placed to benefit from the global drive for better mobility, cleaner air and action to protect the future of our planet.
“Our expectation of full-year adjusted earnings per share remains unchanged.”