Rail operations drive Go-Ahead’s overall profits up despite losses

 
Madeline Ratcliffe
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Go-Ahead blamed traffic jams due to London road projects as the reason for its profit fall
TRAFFIC jams were partly to blame for transport company Go-Ahead’s 13.7 per cent drop in pre-tax profits.

The FTSE 250 company, which runs London buses and the GTR, London Midland and Southeastern rail franchises, released its full-year results yesterday that showed earnings per share were down 25.9 per cent, or 42.2p, from 2014.

Despite a 6.6 per cent increase in bus operation profits, the division will miss its target of £100m profit by next year, and is now aiming for 2016/17 instead.

Chief executive David Brown said the group had faced “a number of headwinds in the year, including congestion in London as a result of infrastructure improvement works,” which meant fewer people were taking the bus.

Overall profits for the company were up 11.1 per cent, at £114.7m, ahead of expectations, largely as a result of a strong performance in the rail division, with a record number of passengers, despite operating at historically low margins.

Brown also acknowledged the disruption caused by the £6.5bn Thameslink project.

Despite this, the group is increasing its dividend for the year by 6.5 per cent

It was shortlisted this year for TfL’s London Overground contract.