July 13, 2017 / 5:34 PM / 2 years ago

Italian railways buys Dutch bus group Qbuzz

MILAN (Reuters) - Ferrovie dello Stato said on Thursday its Busitalia bus unit had signed a preliminary agreement to buy Dutch rival Qbuzz as the Italian rail group presses on with plans to expand abroad.

Ferrovie posted a record net profit of 772 million euros for 2016, up 66 percent from a year earlier, as revenues rose 4 percent to nearly 9 billion euros (7.73 billion pounds).

Sources told Reuters last month that Nomura was advising Ferrovie on a possible stock market listing.

With a fleet of 614 buses and 26 trams, Qbuzz manages public transportation in the metropolitan area of Utrecht and the province of Groningen-Drenthe.

It carries on average 160,000 passengers a day and has an annual turnover of around 190 million euros.

“The purchase of Qbuzz fits with the FS Group’s process of internationalisation,” Ferrovie dello Stato said in a statement which contained no financial detail for the accord.

In January, the Italian railways bought Greek rail company TRAINOSE for 45 million euros.

Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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