Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Profit despite Chaos as Bonus Chance Declined

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Profit despite Chaos as Bonus Chance Declined

Article excerpt

Byline: TRANSPORT COREENA FORD coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

NORTH East transport giant Go-Ahead Group, which jointly operates the troubled Southern rail franchise, has seen adjusted full-year profits rise to PS157.4m, as its chief executive apologised to passengers for continuous disruptions.

The company, which owns 65% of Southern operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) alongside Keolis, also saw revenues rise 4.5% to PS3.4bn.

Chief executive David Brown said: "I am pleased with the Group's financial performance in the year; with overall adjusted operating profit of PS157.4m, slightly ahead of our expectations.

"It has been a year of financial progress in all three divisions. Our market positions have been strengthened, with organic growth supported by contract wins and extensions.

"As part of a targeted programme, we are pleased to have won new business in Singapore and Germany. We continue to explore similar opportunities in these and other selected markets.

"We've had a record year of profits from our bus division, achieving our PS100m target as planned. Our regional bus business has sector leading margins and an industry leading customer satisfaction score of 89%.

"Go-Ahead remains the largest bus operator in London, retaining our 24% market share.

"We continued to invest in our business with PS72m spent on over 300 new buses and PS13m on new depots."

Mr Brown apologised to passengers for the recent rail disruption - and Go-Ahead said he has "made it clear he does not wish to be considered for an annual bonus this year and declined a salary increase" in light of the Southern chaos.

He said: "A large part of the role of the GTR franchise is to introduce three new train fleets and modernise working practices. During this period of change, Southern services have been disrupted by restricted network capacity, strike action and increased levels of absence.

"We apologise to the people whose lives have been affected during this time.

"We continue to work closely with the DfT (Department for Transport), Network Rail and other suppliers and partners to operate the best service possible while delivering the long-term improvements. …

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