Arriva, one of the largest transport services organisations in Europe, has a major presence in nine European countries: Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Employing more than 33,000 staff, the company is the largest bus operator in London and the largest private bus operator in Italy, Denmark and The Netherlands.

The group has expanded aggressively into mainland Europe over recent years and in January this year acquired a second bus operator in the Czech Republic, a German transport company and a Spanish bus operator. In March, the company announced plans for more acquisitions, looking at entries into eastern European countries such as Hungry and Poland as well as further acquisitions in Germany.

At the same time, Arriva showed a 6.5 per cent advance in pre-tax profit for the full year and a pre-tax profit rise to £110 million in the year to December 31 on turnover that grew 10 per cent to £1.73 billion. Sales from continental Europe jumped 19 per cent during the period and accounted for 43 per cent of Arriva’s
total revenues.

But it was not all good news. Operating profit for its UK rail business, where it has only one remaining franchise, Arriva Trains Wales, fell from £14.9m to £12.3m as a result of additional bid costs. Arriva Trains Wales is planning to introduce a new finance-based management information solution including a finance and procurement system, reporting tools and analysis tools. The train operator has also implemented the Avantix Mobile from Atos Origin, which provides quick and easy ticketing on board trains as well as providing train staff with fast, easy access to up-to-date fare and timetable information.

The devices incorporate a PDA, thermal ticket printer and a magnetic card reader for credit card transactions and ticket verification.