Go-Ahead reports 'robust' trading

PUBLIC transport giant Go-Ahead said trading was "robust" in the first half of its financial year and it is looking forward to a busy second half for the industry.

Newcastle bus and train giant Go-Ahead
Newcastle bus and train giant Go-Ahead

PUBLIC transport giant Go-Ahead said trading was "robust" in the first half of its financial year and it is looking forward to a busy second half for the industry.

The group, which runs the Southern (including Gatwick Express), Southeastern and London Midland rail franchises and buses in the North East, London, Oxford, the South and South East, reported a 5.9% rise in revenue to £1,199.5m.

Operating profit fell to £51.7m in the six months to the end of December, from £59m a year earlier. But Newcastle-based Go-Ahead said when one-off £9m rail contract management benefits from the previous year were excluded, the figure was up by £1.7m.

Revenues in the rail division were up by 9.6% and rose by 5% on its buses.

Chief executive Dave Brown said: “Growth has continued across all of our businesses as the public seek high quality, convenient and value for money alternatives to the private car.

"In bus, our strategic focus of operating in more vibrant urban areas, predominantly in the South East, combined with innovative local marketing and the promotion of smart ticketing has continued to deliver passenger growth.

“As London's largest bus and rail operator we will play a significant role in providing transport services for the Olympic Games.”

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