Stagecoach hikes dividend after rise in profits

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Transport giant Stagecoach today said it would be hiking its full-year dividend by more than 10 per cent as it unveiled higher profits.

The Perth-based bus and rail operator, which runs the East Coast and West Coast main line franchises in partnership with Virgin, said pre-tax profits for the year to 30 April rose 4.6 per cent to £165.2 million, on revenues 9.4 per cent higher at £3.2 billion.

Chief executive Martin Griffiths said: “These are a solid set of results notwithstanding continued tight central and local government spending, and increased competition for public transport from the private car driven by lower fuel prices.

“The group is in good financial shape and overall we have delivered on our expectations for the year. We have made a satisfactory start to the 2015-16 financial year and look forward to building further on the group’s achievements.”

Shareholders are in line for a final dividend of 7.3p a share, to be paid on 30 September, lifting the full-year payout to 10.5p – an increase of 10.5 per cent on last time.