Scotland business

Stagecoach in talks over US division sale

megabus.com coach in North America Image copyright Stagecoach
Image caption Stagecoach reported a decline in revenue in its US division, including its megabus.com North America operations

Stagecoach has revealed it is in talks to sell its North American coach business.

It comes after the Perth-based group reported a £22.6m pre-tax loss for the six months to 27 October, driven by a writedown of £85.4m on its US division.

Stagecoach said the writedown reflected a "revised view on long-term profitability".

Its North American operations have been hit by increased competition, as well as rising fuel and staff costs.

Like-for-like revenue for the division fell over the half-year by 3%, with megabus.com North America revenue declining by 1.7%.

In its interim results statement, the bus and rail operator said: "We are reviewing strategic options for the North America Division and while that includes ongoing discussions regarding a possible sale of all or part of the business, there is no certainty of a sale at this time."

'Competitive challenges'

Putting the writedown aside, chief executive Martin Griffiths said the group was performing better-than-expected.

He said: "While we recognise the competitive challenges in some of our markets in the UK and North America, we are confident that public transport will be central to delivering government priorities to grow the economy, connect people and communities, reduce road congestion and improve air quality."

Shares in Stagecoach were up by more than 10% on Wednesday morning.

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