In the half year statement for the six months ended 31 December 2016, Go-Ahead Group plc reported trading in line with management expectations with a caveat that full year expectations have been lowered as a result of challenges in the GTR rail franchise and a slowdown in passenger numbers on regional bus services in some areas.
Group turnover for the six months was £1,715m, up £50m on the corresponding period in 2015 although profit before tax was down £8.9m at £67m. In regional bus operations, revenue grew 0.8% delivering a 6.2% increase in operating profit to £25.7m against a backdrop of a 0.7% fall in passenger numbers. Figures reported for London bus operations, which now include the company’s new Singapore activity, show an 8.6% increase in profit to £21.5m. Revenue growth in London itself was 2.8% based on a broadly flat mileage delivery.
Group Chief Executive, David Brown advised that the company’s expectations for the full year have lowered in both bus and rail. In respect of bus, ‘Our expectations for full year regional bus division profitability have lowered as a result of the slowdown in passenger volumes across the business, most notably in the north east and Oxford. Performance in our London bus business is in line with expectations for the full year although securing profitable growth in this market, as always, remains challenging.’