Transport group Stagecoach has posted a drop in underlying profits after seeing revenues growth at its rail division slip behind schedule.
The Perth-based company blamed the 44% drop in rail profits for the year to April 30 on losses at East Midlands Trains in the first half of the period.
The division, which also includes South West Trains, grew revenues by 6.6% to £1.14 billion but the performance was below hopes at the time the franchises were awarded and was outstripped by growth in premium payments to the Department of Transport.
The rail decline was offset by a 6.3% improvement in UK regional bus profits to £162.7 million as Stagecoach reported underlying profits of £202.5 million for the year, compared with £205.7 million a year earlier.
Around 2.5 million passengers travel on Stagecoach's 7,700 buses every day, generating revenues of £909.7 million in the regions and £230.5 million in London. The company also operates 1,900 buses and coaches in the US and Canada, including through its budget service megabus.com.