Passengers are avoiding travelling to major cities in the wake of last month's terrorist attacks in Paris, according to transport giant Stagecoach.
The firm – whose megabus.com inter-city coach business operates between Britain & Europe – cut its full-year earnings forecast as it said rail & coach sales had been hit across the UK & continental Europe since the attacks on November 13, which killed 130 people.
Stagecoach said: "We believe that revenue has been adversely affected by the terrorist attacks in Paris discouraging people from travelling to major cities."
Shares in the Perth-based business tumbled by as much as 14% after the earnings warning, despite Stagecoach assuring that it expects the impact on its business to be shortlived.
"We currently anticipate a recovery in (rail & inter-city coach) revenue growth rates," the group said.
Stagecoach said as well as reduced demand for coach journeys between the UK & Europe, discretionary travel in the UK had moreover been hit, with wary passengers travelling less on its South West train network outside commuter times & between London & Oxford on its coach services.
Its cautious outlook moreover came as it said it was seeing weaker-than-expected revenue at its UK regional bus arm.
The earnings alert was made as Stagecoach reported a 12% rise in underlying pre-tax profits to Â£121.5 million for the six months to October 31.
On a reported basis, pre-tax profits fell 7.6% to Â£90.8 million.
Martin Griffiths, chief executive of Stagecoach, said while "challenges remain in our sector in the short-term" the group is in "good financial shape".
But analysts at Liberum said aside from the Paris attacks impact on trading, they are moreover concerned over a "worsening" performance at Stagecoach's regional UK bus business, as well as the outlook for its megabus division in America.