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Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Sars hits Stagecoach takings

Business at Stagecoach's Hong Kong unit is down 25% as a result of the Sars outbreak.

The transport giant said it expected to meet its full-year sales forecasts across its business as a whole.

But the impact of Sars stripped 25% from revenues at its Hong Kong bus business in April.

The former British colony's sluggish economic environment and Stagecoach's withdrawal from mainland China have also hit takings.

'Too early'

The main effect of Sars has been to reduce the number of passengers travelling off-peak, forcing Stagecoach to cut services to minimise the impact.

Operating profits for Stagecoach's overseas bus unit will now be as much as 5m ($8m) below the previous year's profit of 33.4m.

"It is still too early to assess any future impact of Sars," the company said in a statement.

Stagecoach said it had seen strong cash generation across the company as a whole.

Stagecoach's UK bus and train operations - which include the South West Trains franchise - were performing well, it said.

But the company said it was in discussions with interested parties over the sales of parts of its underperforming US coach business.

Stagecoach faces losing licence
03 Jan 03  |  England

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