Go-Ahead Group has announced an operating profit of £60m for the half year to 28 December, with a reduced bus operating profit of £45.3m, down 3.4%. Weaker regional results were bolstered by strong performance in London. The Group’s interim dividend remained at 30.17p.
David Brown, Group Chief Executive, commented: “Our London & international bus business is performing well and in line with expectations for the full year, while our expectations for our regional bus business have slightly reduced, reflecting cost pressures and adverse weather on passenger travel.
“In the second half of the year our focus will be on continued management of our regional bus cost base, integrating new contracts and recent acquisitions, and improving our German rail operations. While it is unclear how the coronavirus situation will evolve in the coming weeks, travel patterns are likely to be impacted in the second half of the year.
“I’m pleased with the progress we’re making towards our vision of a world where every journey is taken care of, with industry leading customer satisfaction scores in regional bus of 92% and our improving scores of 82% and 81% in GTR and Southeastern respectively. We’re also helping drive up customer satisfaction and performance in bus markets in Singapore and Ireland where tendering authorities have opened up to commercial operators.
“We have long been campaigning for a national bus strategy to maximise the benefits that buses bring to local communities and society as a whole. I’m pleased with the Government’s decision to move forward with such a strategy and its commitment to invest £5bn in bus and cycle networks in the coming years. This commitment recognises the part public transport can play in protecting our environment, supporting our communities, improving our health and wellbeing, and growing our economy.”