Go-Ahead trading satisfactory
A ‘satisfactory performance overall’ was reported in Go-Ahead’s trading statement for its third quarter trading. The figures are reported on a year to date basis from 29 June 2014 to 28 March 2015. Its regional bus operations saw revenue slow in the third quarter due to the lapping of contract gains in the same period last year. Passenger journey growth continued to slow, with ongoing economic weakness in the north east affecting its operations and roadworks in Oxford and Brighton significantly impacting its services. Its year to date revenue grew 3%, whilst passenger journeys fell 1%.
In the London bus business, revenue slowed and mileage declined year on year due to the timing of known contract losses. Excluding the impact of the BSOG reallocation, revenue in the year to date was similar to the prior year. Revenue grew 1.5% to the year to date, whilst mileage fell 1.5%. Full year mileage is expected to be broadly flat year on year, with new contracts beginning in the fourth quarter. Some revenue was lost as a result of strike action early in the quarter, impacting profitability by around £1m.
Go-Ahead’s expectations for the year for the bus division remain in line. It is staying committed to its strategic target and continues to focus on delivering efficiencies across this business. The Group says it remains in a good financial position with ‘strong cash generation and a robust balance sheet’, supporting a progressive dividend policy and allowing flexibility for it to pursue value adding opportunities.
Group Chief Executive of Go-Ahead, David Brown, said, ‘The overall trading performance of both our bus and rail businesses has been satisfactory and our expectations for the full year remain unchanged. We continue to make progress in our bus division and remain committed to our strategic target. During the period we welcomed the results of the independent statutory watchdog Passenger Focus’ national bus customer satisfaction survey which named Go-Ahead as the best performing large operator, with our regional bus companies achieving an average satisfaction rate of 90%.’