FirstGroup trading as expected

FirstGroup Plc is trading in line with management’s expectations, according to an update on its trading for the six months to 30 September 2015. Its UK Bus operations’ transformation plan continues to deliver growth in commercial passenger revenues of more than 2% in the first half. However this was partially offset by the ongoing weakness in concessionary revenues being seen across the industry. Overall like-for-like revenue growth for the division is expected to be 1.3% in the first half.

Chief Executive, Tim O’Toole, said, ‘We continue to progress our transformation plans which will drive sustainable improvements in the financial performance and cash generation of the Group, despite a more challenging trading environment in some of our markets in the period. In First Student we concluded this year’s bid season with higher average price increases than in the previous year and a solid contract retention rate, which will continue to enhance the margins and returns in our largest business. Our ongoing transformation of UK Bus continues to deliver growth in fare-paying passenger revenues and cost efficiencies, despite the recent weakness in concessionary revenues seen across the market.’

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