Go-Ahead bus profit up
Go-Ahead’s half year results for the six months ended 28 December 2013 were in line with management expectations, with particularly good figures for its bus operations. Group revenue was £1,370m (H1 2013: £1,296.6m), up 5.7%, whilst operating profit was £51.1m (H1 2013: £42.1m), a 21.4% rise. Its deregulated bus business achieved revenue of £174.3m (H1 2013: £169.4m), a 2.9% increase. The division’s operating profit increased 26.3% to £20.2m (H1 2013: £16m). Its regulated bus business revenue grew to £222.7m (H1 2013: 211.9m), a 5.1% rise. This section of its business achieved an operating profit of £20.4m (H1 2013: £19.4m), an increase of 5.2%. Across Go-Ahead’s regulated and deregulated bus business segments, revenue grew 4.1% to £397m (H1 2013: £381.3m), with operating profit rising 14.7% to £40.6m (H1 2013: £35.4m). The operator invested £48.8m in its fleet (H1 2013: £28.3m), including £42.4m in 231 new buses (H1 2013: £18.7m on 100 new buses).
Group Chief Executive, David Brown, said, ‘In October 2012 we set out a three year plan of growth and business improvement with the aim of raising the performance of our UK bus business to £100m in operating profit. We are making good progress, and 16 months into that timetable, our planning assumptions remain valid and we are on course for our target. Meanwhile we maintain our long term commitment to rail and were pleased to have submitted our bids for the Thameslink and Crossrail franchise competitions during the period. The sustained efforts of our 23,500 people, backed by substantial targeted investments in technology, fleet and new facilities, are strengthening our business by improving services for all our customers. Our use of smart and mobile ticketing data helps deepen our understanding of our customers’ needs and allows us to continue to develop and improve our capabilities, to make our bus and rail services more attractive and more convenient. With record passenger numbers, effective cash management and a strong balance sheet, Go-Ahead is in good shape with excellent growth prospects.’