FirstGroup on track for full year earnings

City A.M. Reporter
Transport operator FirstGroup said it was on course to achieve overall earnings and cash targets for the year, as strength at its UK rail division offset continued margin weakness at its student business.

"We are encouraged by improving trends in UK rail and Greyhound and a continued steady performance in our UK bus and transit operations," the company said in a statement.

FirstGroup expects its British rail business, which includes the Great Western franchise running into central London, to deliver like-for-like passenger revenue growth of 5.1 per cent for the year.

It, however, warned trading during the fourth quarter at its student business had been "disappointing," and said margins at that division would continue to be pressured into 2011/12.

The company expects full year revenue growth of 2.4 per cent at its transit division, and like-for-like passenger revenue growth of 1.4 per cent at its UK bus operations.