Go-Ahead Group recently published its full year financial results for the year ended 29 June 2019, which it said were slightly ahead of expectations.
Group revenue increased by 10% to £3.807bn, with London and international bus operating profit up 12.3% to £51.2m.
Regional bus lagged behind slightly, with operating profit falling by 2.8% on 2018 to £44.5m; combined, both divisions generated profits of £95.7m, an increase of 4.7% on the previous year.
Group operating profit (pre-exceptional terms) fell by 10.9% to £121.1m.
David Brown, Group Chief Executive, commented: “I’m pleased to report full year results slightly ahead of our expectations in both bus and rail divisions.
“Strong performance in our London and International bus division more than offset a lower result in our regional bus business.
“Rail operating profit was slightly ahead of expectations, driven by strong performance at Southeastern, but was lower than the prior year which included a part year of operating the London Midland franchise.
“Our commitment to provide better services for our customers has delivered improvements in reliability and satisfaction in our bus and rail businesses, many of which reached record levels during the year. Our regional bus business, once again, topped the league tables with an industry record of 92% satisfaction.
“Also in regional bus, we were pleased to drive up our passenger journey growth of 3.3% in a challenging UK market. Bus travel brings great benefits to the economy, society and the environment and we are calling for a national bus strategy to maximise these benefits.
“During the year, we began contracts in three new countries and won four more international contracts. Our continual focus on innovation resulted in the introduction of the UK’s first air-filtering bus and passenger benefits being developed through our Billion Journey Project incubator. Our balance sheet remains strong and we have maintained our dividend.
“We are disappointed that the DfT took the decision to terminate the new South Eastern franchise competition. We submitted a strong bid designed to provide value for passengers and taxpayers and to build on the significant improvements we have delivered in our 13 years of operating the franchise. We will continue to focus on delivering excellent service for our customers as we operate the contract under an extension up until 1 April 2020, and we are engaging with the DfT regarding the future of the franchise beyond this point.
“Overall for 2020, we are confident that the Group will deliver another robust performance in line with our expectations as we continue to execute our clear and well-defined strategy; strengthening our core business, diversifying into international markets and developing new ways of responding to a changing world.”
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