Stagecoach Group SGC has announced the sudden disposal of its Megabus Europe retail operations to Flix Bus. It is not getting a single penny in cash and completion is at the end of this week. All it is getting is a loan note for an unspecified amount which it expects to be paid by the end of the year. Normally major companies do not dispose of a large part of their operations without some gaurantee that at the end of the day they will be getting paid a specific amount on a specific date. Perhaps the fact that losses at its european megabus operation soared by sixfold during the year from 4.2m to 24.1m. may have something to do with the unseemly rush to get out.
The company also admits that its bus and rail operations are beset by challenging trading conditions not only in mainland Europe but also in the UK and North America. In particular UK bus growth has been low and UK rail has challenges.
Total operating profit for the year to 30th April fell from 217.9m to 171.7 m. despite a rise in revenue of 20%. The one thing which is not challenged is the final dividend which is raised from 7.3p per share to 7.9p, making an increase of 11% for the year.
Greene King GNK had a transformational year in 2016 with group revenue for the year to the 1st May, up by 57.6%. Profit before tax followed suite with a rise of 60.6% and the dividend is to be increased by a modest 7.7%. revenue passed £2billion for the first time and the new year has started well, with a like for like sales rise of 2.8%.
Dixons Carphone DC. announces another year of significant earnings growth withgroup like for like revenue rising by 5% in the year to 30th april. Even southern Europe, long the laggard, managed 4% growth. Profit before tax rose by 17% and the final dividend is being inxcreased to to 6.5p making a 15% rise for the full year.