UK rail franchise Southern hits Go-Ahead’s full-year profits

UK TRANSPORT group Go-Ahead yesterday posted a drop in full-year profit, as its rail businesses felt the heat.

Full-year profit for the year to 30 June came in at £94.2m, down from £97.6m the year previously, despite a rise in revenue to £2.4bn, an increase of 5.5 per cent from last year.

Over the year, transport firm Go-Ahead, which runs franchises including Southern, Thameslink and London Midland, carried a record 1.1bn passengers on the bus and rail network.

Profit was hurt by performance of rail company Southern, due to the impact of the economic climate on the franchise bid profile.

The group’s bus business, particularly the deregulated bus network, performed “exceptionally well” over the year, flattering revenue. Passenger growth was the main driver behind this. Its regulated bus services – it operates around 150 routes for Transport for London – also performed strongly.

The financial outlook remained strong, the group said yesterday, with a “robust” balance sheet to allow for any future acquisitions.

Chief executive David Brown said yesterday that the company is trading in line with expectations.

The dividend was maintained at 55.5p a share. Go-Ahead’s shares closed up 1.4 per cent yesterday.