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Stagecoach Dividend 'Robbery On Rails' - Cortes

8 January 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has lambasted the Stagecoach group over a massive dividend paid out less than a year before the company abandoned the East Coast Main Line (ECML) franchise. 

Accounts reveal how Stagecoach took £35m out of the East Midlands Trains franchise, giving the massive dividend to shareholders months before leaving the ECML franchise.

This was despite Stagecoach accounts showing a slide in profits of just under 25 per cent to £19.5m in the year to April 2018.

Transport Secretary, (Failing) Chris Grayling, had to admit to MPs that Stagecoach (which shared the East Coast route with Virgin Trains) was making “significant losses”, and returned the franchise to public control.

Manuel Cortes said: “This is nothing more than robbery on rails. It’s incredible that Stagecoach have been allowed to get away with this and no-one is held to account.

“The travelling public won’t be fooled. It’s all too clear what’s gone on here –Stagecoach is a loss-making operation but lined the pockets of shareholders while the East Coast franchise is simply handed back to the government.

“Stagecoach have the cheek to call this ‘normal practice’. They are holding two fingers up to the travelling public who will again be appalled having seen train fares have rise again by an average of “£3.2 per cent.

"Britain needs its railways back in public hands now.”

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