Good all round results for Go-Ahead

Profits, revenues and passenger growth figures are all up for both Go-Ahead Group bus and rail sectors, according to the latest annual report (for the year ended 28 June 2014).

Total group revenue increased 5.1% to £2.702bn (2013: £2.572bn), whilst group operating profit (excluding amortisation and exceptional items) was 19.0% up to £103.2m (2013: £86.7m). Group profit before tax rose 22.0% to £84.9m (2013: £69.6m).

Net debt has been more than halved from £90.9m to £42.7m.

Rail: GA has a 65% stake in the Govia joint venture company (with Keolis) that is responsible for the three rail franchises: Southern; Southeastern; and London Midland. Collectively they account for over 70% of group turnover, but generate less than one fifth of group profits.

Total rail revenue was 5.1% up to £1.902bn (2013: £1.810bn), and total rail profit increased by 71.3% to £19.7m (2013: £11.5m), though rail margins remain low at 1.0% (2013: 0.6%). Like-for-like-passenger revenue (excluding the Olympic factor) grew by 6.1%, and like-for-like passenger volumes increased by 4.8%.

Passenger only revenue was 5.4% up to £1.636bn (2013: £1.553bn).

Total rail subsidy dropped sharply by 64.1% to £26.3m (2013: £73.3m), while the premium – paid only by Southern – increased 19.5% to £182.5m (2013: £152.7m). However, total revenue support rose by 37.6% to £92.2m (2013: £67.0m).

(Revenue support is paid to the TOC if the actual revenue falls below 94% of the agreed target revenue, with the DfT having to make good 80% of the shortfall). Both Southern and Southeastern were recipients.

Altogether, the net rail contribution to the DfT (viz. premiums less subsidy and revenue support) increased to £64.0m (2013: £12.4m).

Govia won the prestigious contract to run the combined Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise in May, which takes effect from 14 September.

Regulated (London) bus: GA is the largest London bus operator and enjoys a 24% market share. Total revenue was 6.1% up to £449.7m (2013: £423.9m) with operating profit up 7.2% to £41.6m (2013: £38.8m). The operating margin increased slightly to 9.3% (2013: 9.2%).

Like-for-like revenue growth was 7.5%, and like-for-like mileage grew by 1.6%.

GA’s London operation accounts for 54.1% of all group bus revenue.

Deregulated (regional) bus: Total revenue increased by 3.9% to £350.8m (2013: £337.6m), and operating profit was 15.1% up to £41.9m (2013: £36.4m). The operating margin improved to 11.9% (2013: 10.8%)

Like-for-like revenue growth was 4.3%, and like-for-like passenger volume grew by 1.9%.

GA is on track to reach its Target 100 goal of raising combined (regulated and deregulated) bus profits from the current £83.5m level to £100m by 2015/16.

656/Sep 14


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