How is firstgroup faring in a tough time for transport firms?

 
Marion Dakers
GERT ZONNEVELD | PANMURE GORDON
As expected the company is cautious in its outlook statement but is confident of achieving its goals to enhance performance and deliver improved growth and returns. The repositioning of the UK division clearly has significant execution risk. Rail is a big unknown.

DOUGLAS MCNEILL | CHARLES STANLEY
The second anniversary of Tim O’Toole’s appointment occurs in doleful circumstances, with the share price having fallen substantially, profits running well below the level he inherited, and net debt down only slightly. [But] trading in the problematic UK bus division does not appear to have deteriorated further.

JONATHAN JACKSON | KILLIK & CO
We sense the tone in the statement in terms of trading is more positive. However, a lot of uncertainty still exists – the economic background remains tough, there is little clarity of the outcome of the rail franchising review and the level of debt remains uncomfortably high.