Stagecoach says National Express takeover talks continue; bus group trading in-line with expectation

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Stagecoach Group PLC (LSE:SGC) said talks with would-be buyer National Express were continuing as it gave a brief update on the status of the GBP445mln all-share takeover approach tabled last month.


“Discussions between the parties and reciprocal customary due diligence remain ongoing and there can be no certainty that any offer will be made,” investors were told.


The news was carried alongside a broader assessment of the transport group’s prospects – one in which it said trading was in line with the market’s expectations.


In common with the wider industry, Stagecoach has been hit hard by Covid restrictions.


It said its regional bus services are at around 70% of their pre-pandemic levels while the mileage its vehicles cover is at 94%. It continues to benefit from government support.


Its London bus service continued to deliver a ‘strong’ operational and financial performance, the market heard.


Chief executive Martin Griffiths said: “The momentum in passenger journeys and sales reflects a pick-up in activity and travel across the UK, and growing confidence to return to public transport.


“While there remains some uncertainty around how the recovery continues, our outlook for the year ending 30 April 2022 is unchanged from when we announced our full year results in June 2021.”


Stagecoach pulled out of the mainstream rail market two years ago but does still operate the Sheffield Supertam business.

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