FirstGroup has registered a decrease in profits as the new Covid restrictions put into question the group’s recovery pace.
In the six months ended 30 September, FirstGroup’s profits from continuing operations went down 4 per cent, from £55.7m to £51.8m. The group’s shares also suffered a blow, going down from yesterday’s opening price of 102.60p to today’s 99.05p.
Following the new restrictions introduced by the UK Government to stop the spread of the Omicron variant, the transport giant said doubts still remain about the speed of its recovery.
While passenger volumes increased to 71 per cent of 2019 levels, FirstGroup – which now operates only in the UK following the April sale of its North American operations – has registered a slowdown in the pace of recovery. The company is also experiencing a shortage of staff drivers.
Despite the 4 per cent slump, FirstGroup’s total adjusted profit was higher than last year, with revenues increasing slightly to £3.109bn. The operator said it would start paying back dividends next year.