Go-Ahead Group confident it will arrive at full-year forecast

PUBLIC transport group Go-Ahead Group yesterday said it was confident of meeting forecasted full-year figures, after a welcome boost from the Olympics.

In a trading update for the six months ending 29 December, the company said both its rail and bus divisions had delivered a “robust” performance, despite difficult economic times, and expectations for the full year to 29 June 2013 were unchanged.

Total London bus revenue is expected to have grown by 17 per cent – up from the likely 14 per cent increase without the lift from the Olympics.

Meanwhile earnings for its Southern rail line sped up by eight per cent, with takings for the Southeastern and London Midland lines up by 13 per cent. Go-Ahead said growth would likely have been seven, nine and 11 per cent respectively for the three lines, without the Olympics effect.

Chief executive David Brown said: “Our bus division continues to perform well in a challenging economic environment and we are well placed to meet our target to achieve bus operating profit of £100m by 2015/2016.”

He acknowledged the impact that driver shortages has had on London Midland line passengers and said restoring a “reliable passenger service” is a priority.