Stagecoach

Stagecoach shares rose on Wednesday after the company reported its results for the first-half of the year.

The bus and rail operator posted a pre-tax loss of £23 million for the first six months of the year. This compared to the £97 million in profit earned the year before.

The group attributed to the loss to exceptional charges relating to North America goodwill, amounting to 85.4 million.

Moreover, the group are also considering offloading the North American arm of their business, with rising fuel costs threatening its MegaBus and CoachUSA operations in the U.S.

Chief Executive of Stagecoach, Martin Griffiths commented:

“While we recognise the competitive challenges in some of our markets in the UK and North America, we are confident that public transport will be central to delivering Government priorities to grow the economy, connect people and communities, reduce road congestion and improve air quality. We are reviewing strategic options for the North America Division and that includes ongoing discussions regarding a possible sale of all or part of the business.

“The Group is focused on making further progress in the second half of the year and we have increased our expectation of full-year adjusted earnings per share to reflect the above-forecast rail earnings in the first half of the year.”

The bus firm also announced that it had trialled autonomous buses on routes to Edinburgh and Fife as a result of £4.35 million in Innovate UK funding.

The company added that the interim dividend is to remain at 3.8p.

Shares in Stagecoach (LON:SGC) are currently trading +14.43% as of 13:10PM (GMT).