Revenue tops €5bn at Sunderland’s Arriva

Sunderland-based passenger transport giant Arriva — part of Deutsche Bahn — said its 2016 revenue rose 5.2% to €5.09 billion, allowing it to invest €359 million in its businesses across the UK and mainland Europe.

In the UK, Arriva increased its capital expenditure to €133 million in 2016.

“The investment was focused on improving the customer experience, including new and improved buses and trains, station improvements and innovations such as mobile ticketing apps and the roll-out of contactless payments on buses,” said Arriva.

“Key highlights for the UK include the launch of the Northern rail franchise in April and since taking over the contract Arriva has begun investing in an extensive modernisation programme to deliver a step change for the 90 million passengers who use the network every year.

“In addition, Arriva Rail London Ltd began operating the London Overground concession in November following a competitive bidding process and after nine years of Arriva operating it as a joint venture.”

The UK remains Arriva’s biggest bus market with 5,250 vehicles.

In mainland Europe, Arriva began to operate a number of new contracts, including a 15-year bus and rail contract in Limburg, the Netherlands.

Arriva said it also provided new train services in Prague, new bus services in Warsaw, continued investing in markets such as Italy and the Czech Republic, and developed long distance Arriva Express bus lines across Europe.

Arriva CEO Manfred Rudhar said: “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%, from €276 million in 2015 to €359 million.

“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.”

Arriva is one of the largest transport firms in Europe, employing 60,000 people.

Headquartered in Sunderland, Arriva is responsible for Deutsche Bahn’s regional passenger transport services outside of Germany.

Arriva operates across 14 European markets: the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.