Revenue dips at Coach USA, and Coach Canada

PERTH, Scotland – Stagecoach Group has reported that revenue at Coach USA, and Coach Canada for the 10 months ended Feb. 28 was 2.2 percent lower than during the same period a year ago.

Actual revenue figures for the three operations, which compose the North American division of Stagecoach Group, are not revealed in the Perth-based company’s third-quarter trading update.

Stagecoach asserted, however, that revenue at its intercity coach service continued to improve during the 10-month period, “from the positive action we have taken to match our services with changes in demand from customers.”

“The market remains challenging due to the effects of sustained lower fuel prices, which have heightened car and air competition,” Stagecoach added.

The third-quarter revenue slide at the North American operation was the largest among the five divisions of Stagecoach Group.

The 2.2 percent revenue decline at its North American unit includes a 5.4 percent drop at, “but encouragingly revenue per vehicle mile was up 2.8 percent,” said Stagecoach.

Typical of the actions taken to match services with reduced passenger demand was the halting of service to the capital city of Ohio, Columbus, during the third quarter.

It was the second time megabus had halted service to Columbus since it began operating there in April 2006. It left the city after only two months in 2006 because of low ridership, but restored service the following year.

Stagecoach said that revenue at its other North American businesses – Coach USA and Coach Canada – “remains in line with our expectations. Like-for-like revenue at these businesses declined by 0.7 percent, largely reflecting reductions in mileage at our sightseeing business in California.”

Coach USA and Coach Canada provide scheduled, charter, contract, sightseeing and tour services.

The third-quarter revenue slide at the North American operation was the largest among the five divisions of Stagecoach Group.

In late March, it was announced that FirstGroup plc, the Scottish rival of Stagecoach Group, had been awarded a seven-year contract to operate the South Western rail franchise in England. The new franchise starts Aug. 20.

The franchise previously was held by Stagecoach Group, which has operated the South Western trains for the past 20 years. It bid on the latest contract but came up short against FirstGroup

FirstGroup, which is headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland, is the corporate parent of Greyhound Lines, First Student and First Transit in North America.

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