Stagecoach half-year earnings plunge 99% during pandemic

© Reuters. The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in South Shields

LONDON (Reuters) – Stagecoach, the UK’s biggest bus and coach operator, posted a 99% plunge in earnings due to the pandemic stopping people travelling plus the expiry of previous contracts in the six months to Oct. 31.

The transport operator has received government support since March, but that primarily helps it to cover the cost of running buses whose capacity is restricted due to social distancing and lockdowns. Its earnings per share slipped to 0.1 pence from 10 pence in the same period last year.

Stagecoach said on Wednesday that its regional buses were currently operating with 54% of previous commercial sales.

Looking to the future, the company said that at some point when the COVID-19 threat eases it expects the government to encourage public transport use again, but it did not provide any more specific forecasts.

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