Transport operator First Group has posted a £122.8m statutory operating profit from continuing operations while announcing a renewed national rail contract with the transport department for Great Western Railway.
The new contract will commence when GWR’s current contractual agreement ends later this month, with a core three-year term to 2025. There will be an option to extend by up to three further years to June 2028.
In results for the year to 26 March 2022, First Group posted revenue of £5.5bn while its group adjusted attributable profit increased to £36.2m, up from £19.9m in the 2021 full year.
It said First Bus passenger volume had hit 76 per cent of the equivalent 2019 period recently.
While being “sensitive” to the consumer spending outlook, First Group forecast bus volumes to continue to increase in the current financial year.
The public transport operator revealed last week it had rejected a £1.2bn takeover bid from US private equity I Squared.
FirstGroup is the latest UK company to be sought after by foreign investors, as rival Stagecoach was snatched from underneath National Express by German asset manager DWS in late May.
In an update to the London Stock Exchange, the bus and rail operator said its board had unanimously rejected the bid, which was initially made on 26 May.
Shares were elevated slightly by more than one per cent in early trading on Tuesday morning.
More to follow…