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Go-Ahead's bus growth on course

Thursday 21 February 2013 7:13

Transport group Go-Ahead today said it is on track to more than double its bus operating profit to £100m within two years.

The Newcastle plc said bus operating profit was up 5.4% to £37.1m in the first half of its financial year, despite significant fuel cost headwinds.

Overall the company’s revenues dropped by £97m to £1.3bn in the period but it enjoyed solid revenue growth in its rail business.

The group also said it is on course to meet its bus operating profit target of £100m by 2015/16, while it also looked back on an “excellent performance in delivering key Olympic Games transport services”.

Group chief executive David Brown said: “At the core of the group is our bus division and this performed very well in the period, despite significant fuel cost headwinds. The deregulated operations continue to benefit from our effective localised management structure and we have made good progress with our marketing plans, with over 120,000 passenger journeys a day now being made with our smartcard "the key".

“We continue to invest in our fleet and 100 new buses were bought in the period, almost half of which are carbon efficient hybrid vehicles, we have also introduced free Wi-Fi on many of our services. Our regulated business remains sector-leading, driven by our ability to provide high quality and cost efficient services for Transport for London.

“These good results underpin my confidence in our ability to achieve our target of £100m bus operating profit by 2015/16.”

Brown also said the company welcomed the recent recommendations set out in the Government's review of rail franchising carried out by Richard Brown.

But he added: “We remain on the shortlist to bid for the Thameslink franchise and we urge the Department for Transport to begin the tender process within the coming months to ensure that the Thameslink Programme is delivered on schedule.”