DOUGLAS MCNEILL CHARLES STANLEY
I see it as a satisfactory update. It’s heartening that they have essentially met their self-imposed target for disposals in the UK bus division. Some unanswered questions remain, notably around the terms of the rail franchise extensions, but the market is pretty aware of the possibilities.
GERT ZONNEVELD PANMURE GORDON
The trading statement contained relatively few surprises, with underlying trading performances broadly in line with the company’s expectations.
FirstGroup did announce the disposal of eight of its London bus depots for £80m (after the period). We retain our “hold” recommendation.
JOHN LAWSON INVESTEC
The turnaround of FirstGroup is a slow process and, despite the planned sale of the London bus business, debt remains high and the future dividend per share is still unclear. The underlying trading trends look mixed (some OK, some less good), so not too much to get excited about here.