SCOTTISH Citylink Coaches has suffered a near 20 per cent fall in profits amid competition from trains, planes and other road operators, writes Mark Williamson.

The Glasgow-based company made £4.3 million pre tax profit in 2017, down 19% from the £5.3m achieved in the preceding period.Turnover fell to £37.9m from £39.5m.

Scottish Citylink says it runs services linking more than 200 towns and cities.

In the company’s accounts for 2017 directors said the fall in turnover reflected service changes and decreased patronage.

Profits fell faster than sales because the impact of strong competition exceeded savings on contractor costs resulting from service changes.

Directors noted: “Competitive pressure in the Scottish express coach market in addition to competition with the rail and airline industries are a continuing risk for the company.”

The y added: “The Scottish Government has indicated that it will carry out a review of the Concessionary Fare Scheme during 2018/19 aimed at making the scheme sustainable. Changes to the scheme may create risks or uncertainties to demand.”

The company paid £5m dividends last year.

Singapore’s ComfortDelGro owns a majority stake in Scottish Citylink Coaches. Stagecoach has 35 per cent.