Revenue growth funds investment at Arriva

Arriva reported revenue growth of around 5 per cent in the past year with total income of  €5.1billion. The group invested €359million in its businesses across the UK and Europe, an increase of 30 per cent on 2015, including €133million in the UK invested in its bus and train network.

The UK is Arriva’s biggest bus market with a fleet of 5,250 vehicles. The groups says that it has increased investment in spite of a challenging market with increasing congestion.

“2016 was a year of continued market growth as a result of significant contract wins and acquisitions. We also increased our overall capex investment by 30 per cent, from €276million in 2015 to €359million,” says Manfred Rudhart, Arriva chief executive.

“The Northern franchise consolidated our position as a major operator in UK rail, while new franchises and acquisitions boosted our presence in Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and Czech Republic.

“Arriva continued its significant investment in customer service improvements, new technology and our people. We have rolled out contactless payment schemes across our markets, making bus and train travel more convenient; introduced more environmentally-friendly vehicles and continued to invest in our graduate and apprenticeship schemes.”

During the past year, Arriva began operating the €2billion rail and bus contract in Lindburg, the Netherlands. Arriva will operate a fleet of 250 new buses, introduced in phases throughout the length of the contract, in towns and cities including Maastricht, Heerlen and Roermond. And in the Czech Republic Arriva increased its presence by acquiring a 100 per cent share of bus operator CSAD MHD Kladno. Following the acquisition Arriva now operates more than 2,100 buses in the Czech Republic with almost 3,500 employees.

The group also acquired operations in Spain and Italy with the takeover of Galicia-based Autos Carballo (Aucasa) and Santiaguesa Metropolitan and Italian bus operator Savda. Arriva now operates 520 buses in Spain, and 2,400 buses across the Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria and Friuli Venezia-Giulia regions.