Good performance for shareholders and customers
• Earnings per share* up 18.9% to 30.2p, ahead of market expectations
• Dividend up 10.3% to 8.6p
• Financial results underpinned by strong operational delivery, consistent investment, value-for-money travel, high customer satisfaction and effective partnerships
• Current trading in line with management expectations
Well positioned for future growth
• Consistent and successful strategy with evolution of management responsibilities
• Strong financial position enables pursuit of new opportunities
• Significant scope to secure additional value in UK rail market
Commenting on the results, Chief Executive, Martin Griffiths, said: "This is another strong set of results, which are ahead of market expectations. We have achieved ten years of sustainable growth, reflecting our successful strategy of targeting organic growth in our bus networks, rail franchise opportunities and selected acquisitions.
"Stagecoach has secured a leading position in a range of growing markets in the UK and North America. Our innovation can deliver further growth in the commercial, deregulated bus market. We are helping the UK Government to deliver a new, improved rail franchise model and are shortlisted for two rail franchises. Our ground-breaking alliance at South West Trains with Network Rail is producing a more efficient, joined up railway at one of Europe's premier commuter rail networks. In North America, we are focused on converting the transformation our megabus.com business has made in the inter-city bus market into profitable growth.
"People, technology and customer service are key to the future. We have strong management teams across our business, which understand their customers. Our investment in new technology also means that we are in a good position to capitalise on the commercial opportunities in the age of the smartphone.
"It is no coincidence that we have simultaneously delivered good financial results, strong operational performance, significant investment, value-for-money travel and high customer satisfaction. We are pleased to have played a leading role within the industry, developing strong relationships with government and transport authorities. We have helped transform bus and rail travel for passengers, reducing costs for taxpayers and making a huge positive contribution to our economy, our communities and our environment.
"The public transport market has long-term fundamental strengths and a positive outlook. I am confident we can make bus and rail the travel modes of choice for increasing numbers of people in the UK and in North America."
• Continued confidence in prospects for megabus.com and acquired businesses in North America
• Further innovation with development of new products (e.g. UK sleepercoach) and initiatives (e.g. rail alliancing)