Further to its announcement on 23 March, Stagecoach Group plc is today (3 April 2020) providing an update on the impact of COVID-19, the actions it has taken and the sector-specific support from Government.
In a statement on the impact of COVID-19 on its businesses, Stagecoach Group reports that commercial sales at its regional bus businesses is around 15 per cent of ‘normal’ levels, and vehicle mileage is around 50 per cent with plans to reduce that close to 40 per cent.
Stagecoach’s regional bus business has already furloughed a significant proportion of its staff as part of plans to furlough around 55 per cent of its bus drivers and engineering staff. Other employees have also been furloughed and fuel hedging has been reduced to take account of the reduction in regional bus mileage.
The group reports that it has around £506million of available cash and undrawn, committed bank facilities and has reduced its previously planned 2020/21 capital expenditure from £105million of cash capital expenditure and £38million of new leases to£40million of cash capital expenditure and £20million of new leases.
On the government support announced recently, the group says: “Our transport services play a critical role in getting key workers, such as healthcare and other staff, to work during this crisis as well as ensuring people can access medical care, food and other essentials. We are pleased that the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments have recognised this important contribution to the national effort and have announced specific support for the country’s bus networks.”
Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach chief executive, says: “I am proud of the tremendous efforts and sacrifices of our people and the country’s healthcare workers during such a challenging and uncertain time. We are continuing to work hard to ensure Stagecoach comes through this difficult period well placed for the significant long-term opportunities that we still see for public transport.
“We would like to thank the respective governments and our local authority partners for their support through this very challenging period. It is welcome recognition of the importance of maintaining bus services at this time, and it will enable key workers to continue to travel to and from work, as well as ensuring communities can still access food, medical care and other essential services.”