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Stagecoach slowed its like for like revenue declines in its third quarter, but continued to struggle for growth across all of its businesses as low fuel prices and economic weakness weighs on UK public transport.

Like for like revenues in the 44 weeks to March 4 declined across its UK and North American bus operations.

The company blamed the decline in the UK on “weak underlying local economic conditions in some parts of the UK and sustained lower fuel prices”, though they marked a slight pickup compared to its first-half performance.

Revenues in its UK rail business were 1.6 per cent higher than same period last year, and 5.3 per cent higher at the Virgin Rail group, in which Stagecoach owns a 49 per cent stake. Those figures were improvements on the sluggish growth in the first half of its financial year, but still marked slower growth than the same period last year.

Earlier this week Stagecoach lost the franchise to run South West Trains, which it had run since privatisation in 1996, to a consortium of FirstGroup and Hong Kong’s MTR.

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