Stagecoach on track with 7 per cent revenue rise

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Stagecoach reported a 7 per cent jump in railway revenues yesterday as a recent trading revival on its two major commuter routes gained strength.

The transport company, which runs South West Trains and East Midlands Trains, said conditions and revenue trends had improved across the company.

Passenger revenues at its bus division improved by 2 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the 12 weeks to 25 July, and rose 18.7 per cent at its West Coast mainline franchise, which it operates as a joint venture under the Virgin Rail banner.

Demand for Virgin trains between Glasgow and London has jumped this summer thanks to marketing campaigns, advance ticketing and reduced disruption caused by engineering work.

In North America, where Stagecoach has a fleet of 2,800 coaches, revenues rose by 6.9 per cent over the quarter. Stagecoach recently reported a 24 per cent drop in annual profits but said the outlook for its rail division was improving.

Yesterday, it said the positive trends in rail and in North America had continued, although it admitted this was subject to uncertainty. It added: "Whilst the effect of the change in the UK Government and the sustainability and pace of economic recovery remain uncertain, we believe that, on balance, the outlook... is positive."