Javelin train at St. Pancras international
Jamie Hardesty

Newcastle’s Go Ahead on course following first quarter growth

Newcastle-based transport company Go Ahead has witnessed a solid first quarter with growth in North East revenue rates up circa 5%.

The company reported that regional bus operations have seen good growth in revenue in the first quarter of the year, largely driven by increased contract revenue where associated journeys are not recorded.

It was indicated that commercial and concessionary passengers numbers are broadly flat year on year, with weakness in the North East.

As such a proposal for a bus contract scheme in Tyne & Wear was endorsed by the sub- committees of the North East Combined Authority.

The company’s rail divisions has also witnessed some growth as Southeastern passenger revenue increased circa 10%, Southern passenger revenue was up circa 6.5% and up circa 2.5% in Midlands London.

The group also said that the London Midland franchise has been severely affected by engineering works during the quarter.

This has had no impact on profit but has resulted in lower than expected revenue. Adjusting for this, revenue growth would have reportedly been around 5.5%.

Overall, Go Ahead announced that trading across the group has been robust and expectations for the full year are unchanged.

The group said it remains in a good financial position with strong cash generation and a robust balance sheet, supporting our progressive dividend policy and allowing flexibility to pursue value-adding opportunities both within and outside our traditional markets.

Go Ahead will now continue to focus on providing high quality, locally-focused transport services.

Group chief executive, David Brown, said: “Trading in the first quarter has been robust and our full year expectations for both bus and rail operations remain unchanged.

“This has been a busy period for our rail business, during which we launched GTR and began Southeastern’s direct award contract.

“Our experienced teams are focused on working closely with industry partners to deliver high quality services for our passengers.

“Delivering excellent levels of customer service is important to us and I’m proud our bus division achieved its highest ever satisfaction score of 92%.

“Even at these levels, there is always room for improvement and we will continue to listen to customers and local community groups to keep on improving our services.”

“Our London and regional bus operations continue to perform well and we remain on course to achieve our operating profit target of £100 million by 2015/16.”

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