Go-Ahead is satisfied with half year results

The Go-Ahead group is satisfied with the first six month’s results for the year ended 26 December 2015. Total adjusted group operating profit increased 19.7% to £80.7m (H1 2015: £67.4m); adjusted profit before tax was £73.9m (H1 2015: £60.2m).

Total group revenue increased 6.8% to £1.665bn (H1 2015: £1.559bn). Adjusted net debt rose to £260.8m (H1 2015: £254.1m), but net finance costs fell to £6.8m (H1 2015: £7.2m).

Go-Ahead has three main business divisions: Regional Bus; London Bus; and Rail.

Regional Bus:  Revenue increased 2.6% to £186.1m (H1 2015: £181.4m), and adjusted operating profit improved 7.0% to £26.1m (H1 2015: £24.4m). Adjusted operating margin was 14.0% (H1 2015: 13.5%). Revenue growth came to 2.6% (as against 4.1%) though volume growth (passenger journey numbers) was 0.5% down (as in H1 2015). GA attributed this to the continuing weakness of the north eastern economy.

London Bus:  Revenue was 3.7% up at £237.3m (H1 2015: £228.9m), but adjusted operating profit was 4.4% down at £21.7m (H1 2015: £22.7m), which GA largely attributed to road works and congestion. Adjusted operating margin also fell to 9.1% (from 9.9%). Revenue growth improved to 3.7% (from 2.8%) with underlying growth at 5.7%. Volume growth (miles operated) increased 2.3% (as against a drop of 1.6%).

Rail: GA has a 65% shareholding in the Govia joint venture (Keolis holds the other 35%). GA runs three franchises: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR); Southeastern (SE); and London Midland (LM).  The Thameslink franchise had previously held by FirstGroup and passed to GA in September 2014. GTR absorbed GA’s other franchise, the Southern (including Gatwick Express) in July 2015.

Total rail revenue increased 8.1% to £1.242bn (H1 2015: £1.148bn); adjusted operating profit was up 62.1% to £32.9m (H1 2015: £20.3m). GA’s net contribution to the DfT – basically the difference between what it paid out in premiums and received in subsidises – increased to £126.6m (H1 2015: £108.2m).

This amount was consisted of the following payments to the DfT:  GTR excess passenger revenue paid back £142.3m; Southern premium £20.7m; Southeastern profit share £14.7m; and London Midland revenue share £1.9m. Less the following support received from the DfT: Southeastern subsidy £30.0m; London Midland subsidy £20.1m; and Southern revenue support £2.9m.

The adjusted operating margin increased 2.6% (from 1.8%). Passenger revenue continued to grow in all three franchised companies (previous year in brackets) by: London Midland 9.6% (4.0%); Southeastern 6.1% (10.7%); and GTR 5.9% (9.3%). Passenger journey numbers were also up by: GTR 6.4% (8.8%); London Midland 4.7% (1.6%); and Southeastern 3.6% (7.9%).


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