(Reuters) - British transport company Go-Ahead Group Plc said on Thursday it was on track to meet its full-year profit forecast as strong bus passenger numbers in some regions offset still slow revenue growth at Southern railways following strike action.
Go-Ahead, which owns around 5,200 buses transporting more than two million passengers daily, said its regional bus division was delivering revenue growth “slightly ahead” of wider industry trends.
The company, which lowered its full-year profit outlook in February blaming repeated strike action on Southern railway, said Southern services had stabilised in the last five months but more strike action was planned. Southern is run by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), in which Go-Ahead has a 65 percent stake.
“Disappointingly, the ASLEF union has called for an overtime ban for Southern train drivers which, if it goes ahead, will result in unnecessary disruption for customers,” Go-Ahead said in a trading update.
“GTR remains fully committed to resolving these issues to provide improved services for customers and reduce uncertainty for our stakeholders,” it said. “Progress is being made in the ongoing discussions with the DfT (Department for Transport) regarding a number of contractual variations; management’s judgement around these discussions and the potential impact on rail profitability remains consistent with previous guidance.”
Separately, Go-Ahead said Govia has been short-listed by the UK Department for Transport to bid for the South Eastern franchise, a network it has been operating for over 10 years now.
Shares in Go-Ahead were up 0.3 percent at 1,838 pence at 0723 GMT.
Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton